Plants annual; cotyledons unlobed. Flowers: receptacular cup with spreading rim often inconspicuous. 2 n = 12. Flowering mid winter-late summer (Feb-Sep). Deserts; to 2000 m; Ariz., Calif., N.Mex., Nev., Tex., Utah; Mexico (Sonora). C. T. Mason Jr. (pers. comm.) has noted several specimens from Arizona as far east as Cochise County that appear to be perennial.
PLANTS: nearly always annual, mainly 1-3.5 dm tall; seedlings with simple cotyledons. FLOWERS: outer rim 0.5-2.0 mm wide; sepals 3-8 cm long. NOTES: See also the parent taxon for further description. On mesas, bajadas, and in dry washes in Sonoran Desert scrub and desert grasslands, occasional in Chihuahuan Desert scrub and juniper-oak grasslands: all AZ cos. except: Apache, Coconino, Navajo; 300-1400 m (1000-4600 ft); Feb-May (fr. Mar-Jun); CA, NM, NV, TX, UT; Chih., Son., Mex. REFERENCES: Ownbey, Gerald B., Jeffrey W. Brasher, and Curtis Clark. 1998 Papaveraceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 30(2): 120.
Ownbey et al. 1998
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual with leaves forming rosette, stems mainly scapose. Leaves: Mainly 3-15 cm long, segments oblong, mostly 1 mm wide, faintly glaucous, glabrous, flabelliform dissected blade usually one-third as long as petiole or less. Flowers: Calyptra broadly ovoid-undulate, mostly 1 mm wide or less, petals flabelliform-obovate 1.5-3.5 cm long, yellow to deep orange or rarely white tinged with pink. Fruits: Capsule 4-6 cm long, longitudinally ridged, the grooves glaucous. Ecology: Found in sandy or gravelly soil, widespread to 4,500 ft (1372 m); flowers February-May. Distribution: CA, s NV, s UT, AZ, NM; south to n MEX. Notes: Very distinct but distinguished from other species by the wider outer rim below flowers. Closely related to E. californica but E. californica subsp. mexicana is smaller, more scapose, always an annual plant and in has a narrower, sometimes nearly obsolete, outer rim of the hypanthium. E. californica sensu strictu can be an annual or perennial. Ethnobotany: Unknown for this species, other species in the genus widely used medicinally. Etymology: Eschscholzia is named for Dr. Johan Friedrich Gustav von Eschscholtz (1793-1831) a Latvian or Estonian surgeon and botanist, while californica refers to California, and mexicana refers to Mexico. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015