Name of Eschscholzia: slightly off topic

Jim McKenney
Mon, 07 Feb 2005 08:07:52 PST
There was a recent brief thread which touched on the theme of the desert in
bloom. Awhile back I was given a copy of George Lepp's Golden Poppies of
California: page after page of gorgeous photography, just the thing to
assuage the chill of living amid snow fields and ice packs. 

Lepp's book however raises a minor question. All of my life I've called
Eschscholzia californica 'California poppy'. But Lepp uses the name 'golden
poppy' or 'California golden poppy' in  most of his text (the name
'California poppy' does appear a few times in his text, and more often in
text he quotes from others). 

Evidently 'Golden Poppy' is the official name in the law which made it the
State Flower of California in 1903. Curiously, the law cites the genus, but
not the specific epithet. 

All of this raises questions. For instance, is 'Golden Poppy' the accepted
vernacular name for Eschscholzia in the generic sense? Is the name
California Poppy the accepted vernacular name for E. californica? I've
never heard or seen the name Golden Poppy used for these plants: is this
tradition extant?

What say the Californians?

This query is being posted separately to Alpine-L. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where it's about time to sow
some poppies. 

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