On June 3, 2005, I wrote about the two matilija poppy plants (Romneya coulteri) going into my garden. Matilija poppies are a Southern California native plant that can grow to eight feet tall. Matilija is probably a Chumash Indian word but many people pronounce it as if it was Spanish. The flowers look like big fried eggs balanced on top of long grey-green stems. Matilija poppies are mostly grown from cuttings and, once established, can take over large areas. I have dedicated a whole section of our river bank to matilija poppy colonization.
One of my 2005 poppies died in its first year but the second is strong and now in full bloom. When I was taking photos of the flowers, I caught a bonus image of a yellow butterfly pretending to be a poppy leaf.
Images Copyright 2008 by Katy Dickinson