Romneya coulteri

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Romneya coulteri
Romneya coulteri
Romneya coulteri

Species Name: Romneya coulteri
Common Name: Matilija Poppy

This rare plant is known as the "fried-egg flower" for its huge white and yellow blooms. One of California's most spectacular and best-known flowers. Once established, it can spread over a large area. Can be invasive.

Plant Family: Papaveraceae
Plant Type: Perennial
Height by Width: 8' H x spreading
Growth Habit: Upright, spreads by rhizomes
Deciduous/Evergreen: Semi-evergreen
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 4,000'
Flower Season: May - July
Flower Color: White, yellow center
Endangered?: List 4/Red 1-2-3
Distribution: Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties
Natural Habitat: Dry washes and canyons below 4000' in Coastal Sage Scrub and Chaparral away from immediate coast

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Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "The plants throw up many tall stems from the ground clothed with large, deeply cut, silvery gray leaves. Flowers large, often measuring 6 inches in diameter, of crepe-like texture, pure glistening white with deep yellow centers. The flowers appear in late spring and early summer and are produced in great profusion. One of the most showy of the native plants and sometimes termed the 'queen of California flowers.' Prefers a gravelly or sandy well drained soil in a sunny location. Gallon cans, 75c."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.