• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Eschscholzia californica

California poppy

California poppy


  • Other common names California poppy
    California sunlight

    cup of gold
    golden cup

    see more
  • Family Papaveraceae

  • Genus Eschscholzia can be annuals or perennials, with finely divided leaves and solitary, long-stalked, poppy-like yellow, orange or red flowers, followed by conspicuous long seed-pods

  • Details E. californica is a vigorous bushy, spreading annual to 30cm, with finely divided blue-green leaves and orange, yellow or red flowers to 7cm across in summer

  • Plant range USA, India


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered or Exposed


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilLoam, Sand

  • pHAcid, Neutral, Alkaline


  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 1-2 years

How to grow

Cultivation Will thrive in poor, well-drained soil but they need full sun for the flowers to open. Can be grown as a drought-tolerant pot plant. Good for exposed or coastal areas

Propagation Propagate by seed sown in succession from mid-spring onwards

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Cut Flowers Cottage & Informal Garden Gravel Garden Rock Garden

How to care

Pruning Cut back after flowering

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases Generally disease free

Advertise here

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now