In Praise of California’s Fiery Poppy Fields
The Nature Collective offers detailed information about the life cycle and uses of these plants. The Luisaño ate poppy greens. Spanish settlers called the plant Dormidera, “to fall asleep” because the petals close at night.
In Chumash legends, poppies are fallen sunlight. Spaniards took one look at Californian poppy fields, stunned that they had entered “the land of fire.”
Many Californians believe that it is illegal to pick poppies if they are growing in a local garden, but this is not a rule specific to poppies. It is illegal to steal flowers that aren’t yours!