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In Bloom



Dendromecon hartfordii
"California Tree Poppy"


Dendromecon hartfordii 1Dendromecon hartfordii 2Dendromecon hartfordii 3Dendromecon hartfordii 4

Dendromecon hartfordii 5Dendromecon hartfordii 6Dendromecon hartfordii 7



Look for Dendromecon harfordiiat the Entrance Border (West end of the North Side).

Dendromecon hartfordii


Location
Scientific Name Dendromecon hartfordii
Common Name California Tree Poppy
Family Papaveraceae
Plant Type Perennial, evergreen shrub or small tree. Can grow up to 20'
Environment Coarse, well-drained soil, full sun. Drought tolerant once established.
Bloom Free flowering July - April. Scattered flowers throughout the rest of the year. Blooms smell like melon candy.
Uses Flowers attract nectar-loving insects and birds; also offers some cover. High ornamental value, since flowers and foliage are attractive in all seasons with little water or care.
More Info Jepson Flora Project

Download the PDFNevin Smith's article in California Native Plant Society's journal, Fremontia (PDF 2.9 MB)
Profile Contributor: Fred Bové

Nothing is cheerier for a hiker to see as he trudges through the dry chaparral of the California foothills than a tree poppy in full bloom. They thrive there along with their drought companions, manzanita and coffeeberry, and grow from Sonoma County all the way down to Baja California and the Channel Islands, needing a hot sun, mild winters, and good drainage.

The shrubs can reach fifteen feet, "lighting up hillsides," according to botanist Nevin Smith, having tough, evergreen leaves with a bluish tint that gives them sun protection. The blooms though smaller in size than the California poppy, and more yellow than orange, have the same exuberant flush of stamens in their centers and the same satiny touch to their petals.

Dendromecon harfordii is endemic to Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands with leaves entire, (without teeth) and rounded tips. D. rigida, more often called "bush poppy," grows on the mainland, is smaller in size, with leaves finely toothed and sharp tips. The seeds develop within a capsule and explode when ready, flinging seeds in all directions.



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Contributors: Docents Joanne Taylor and Kathy McNeil




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