13 November, 2010

California's State Flower. In New Zealand.

California springtime is in April and and that is when the California Poppy blooms there.  But here in New Zealand it is right now, November.

This is by our back gate down to the river, a magnificent display, amongst the rocks gouged out by the goldminers of the 1800s.  So why are those flowers here.  They, like so much of the plantlife on this river bank came here with the gold rushes.  Many people went to San Franciso in 1849 and came on to Australia in the 1850s and to Central Otago, New Zealand in 1862.  
Flowers amongst the gold mining rocks
At the back gate by the river.
Its botanical name, Eschsholtzia californica, was given by Adelbert Von Chamisso, a naturalist and member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, who dropped anchor in San Francisco in 1816 in a bay surrounded by hills of the golden flowers. It became the state flower in 1903. Every year April 6 is California Poppy Day.

The poppies around our local area are yellow.  But I also see orange ones further away.  I was driving when I saw some red ones!

But the red ones turned out to be Flander poppy (the soldier poppy)
 Here are some orange flowers mixed in with yellow.
Also there were some white ones, or maybe cream.  Not seen those before.

27th November 2011.  45th Parallel.  California Poppies in New Zealand.
 The Forty - fifth parallel runs left to right horizontally across the map.  It marks the halfway point between the equator and the south pole on the frozen continent of Antarctica.  The 45th parallel is about ten kilometers north of our place.  So we are closer to the South Pole.  The 45th parallel in the USA is just north of Salem in Oregon.  I guess the "California" poppy grows there too.

It's coming into summer here and Autumn (fall) in California.  So while the poppies are in bloom here I guess they won't be in bloom in California until May next year.


  1. Beautiful! I always thought that NZ was similar to California, in size and in climate. My sister lives there and when we visited her, the rolling hills between Blenheim and Christchurch reminded me of the hills north of Los Angeles. We can grow many NZ natives here, too!

    BTW, thanks for adding me to your blogroll. :-)
    Sierra Foothill Garden

  2. Sorry about that CA invader. :( I hope it doesn't take over. We sometimes get color variants, ivory ones like that, and a yellow one with orange spots on the petals.

  3. Cheery souls those Eschsholtzia.

    I guess if they're not causing any problems to the Kiwi eco-systems then they welcome. They look to have been massively succesful mind, the whole hilside a sea of yellow (or gold).

  4. Kerry, you can see the rings/rims of the CA poppies in many of your photos.

  5. Yes. The rings are there on the poppies in the photos. But are they red. I will be checking still in the next few months.

  6. Yes. The rings are there on the poppies in the photos. But are they red. I will be checking still in the next few months.

  7. Carl Wright21 August, 2013

    This is amazing. We live on gentle way just off Malum ridge road. We have a dear friend that lives on Chapman Street in Dunedin, NZ Think I'll send this his way.

  8. In 2012 there was a large patch of opium growing up near the top of Sugarloaf, but this season nothing... what are the biological triggers for this plant?


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