Annual or perennial herb to 30-40 cm tall. Flowering stems branched. Leaves hairless, slightly waxy blue, divided into thin segments. Flowers with petals to 5 cm long; spring to summer. Capsule to 8 cm long.
This is the State floral emblem of California, USA.
Watery sap a mild narcotic and used by American Indians as a relief for toothache.
Although recorded as escaping from gardens in Australian metropolitan areas, it has failed to set seed for more than a few generations. However, it is well established as an environmental weed in the Upper Snowy River region of Victoria and New South Wales and is also established beside streams in E Gippsland, Victoria and Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
Several colour variants are grown and sometimes given cultivar names or sold as coloured seed mixes. Double-flowered variants are also available.
Source: (1997). Papaveraceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
Flowers creamy white.
Flowers orange. [var. aurantiaca hort.]
Flowers deep orange.
Flowers salmon pink; seeds of this cultivar may produce plants with streaked petals.