California Poppy: The Spring Trumpet

What better way to announce the spring wildflower season than with the golden poppy.  They seem to appear everywhere – out of cracks in the pavement, along roadsides. In some places they carpet entire hillsides.  The Spaniards called them “Capo del Oro.” In our benign climate, poppies seem to bloom somewhere almost year-round, but reach their finest moment each spring.

patti jacquemain poppy print


Artist Patti Jacquemain's woodblock print featuring blooming California Poppies.

The four silken petals with their delectable sheen remain tightly-furled each day until the sun has mounted into the sky.  Then, and only then, do they open their petals.

Once the poppy trumpet sounds, other lovely spring wildflowers come rushing in to the delight of hikers in the foothills.

The wildflower pageant reaches its climax in May on Figueroa Mountain, which rises to 4,500 feet in the San Raphael Range near Santa Barbara.

Along with fields of poppies, blue and white lupine and fluorescent-yellow goldfields create a perfect floral composition of California’s colors - blue and gold.