- Strategic Goals
- Environmental Review & Permitting
- Conservation Planning
- Invasive Species
- Native Plant Program
Conservation Planning Branch
CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Native Plant Program
On March 2, 1903 the California poppy, Eschsholzia californica, became the official state flower of California (Ca. Government Code Section 421). The plant's bright orange flowers are an unmatched symbol of the Golden State, viewed perhaps as a floral representation of the “fields of gold” sought during the gold rush. In fact, early Spanish settlers called the flower "copa de oro" (cup of gold). The California poppy has become the source of much beauty, and is commonly seen during the spring and summer along country roads and freeways throughout much of the state, making this plant a highly recognizable symbol of California.
It is often believed that there are laws preventing the cutting or damaging of the California poppy because it is the state flower. While there is no law providing for the protection of the California poppy specifically, the cutting, destruction, or removal of any flower, tree, shrub or other plant growing along public roads or highways or on other public or private land without the written permission of the landowner or controlling agency is prohibited (Ca. Penal Code Section 384a). However, this law does not prevent the collection of California poppies on private land by the landowner. California poppies are a beautiful and easy-to-grow addition to your garden, and although you may choose to pick them from your property, they last much longer in the ground!
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