Enigmatic Planet
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Enigmatic Planet

Culture

In Praise of California’s Fiery Poppy Fields

Photo by Mike Ostrovsky on Unsplash

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.”

One Plant Lore archive entry says smoking whole California poppies create a ‘euphoric’ feeling. Others use California poppy in folk cures for insomnia, bladder issues and liver pain.

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!

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Cat Baklarz

Cat Baklarz

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|Los Angeles| Environmentalist, Writer, Historian of the Weird.