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Chumash for Showy

June 6, 2010

Blowsy and fragrant

Summer’s heat has definitely arrived, making mid-day a time for retreat. In an effort at avoiding the heat’s post-lunch arrival (and overbearing presence til’ sundown) we did all our running around early today. While driving through the UCR campus on its east perimeter roadway, we came upon the delightful sight above: tons of Matilija poppies in bloom. Named by the Chumash, a Native American tribe who inhabited the central and southern coastal areas of California, I couldn’t help but think Matilija was their word for “showy”. Truly spectacular, these plants stood more than 6-feet tall, and were absolutely awash in large blooms almost 8-inches across. Sometimes called fried egg poppies because of their ruffly, white petals and yolk-yellow puffball centers, these UCR poppies are not yet the largest they can be; established plants can produce blooms that measure a foot across. Still, being next to such tall, profuse plants was exciting …

Lotsa blossoms

… and the ol’ hipstamatic iphone app had to come out. Standing in the not-yet-deadly late-morning sun and breathing in the unexpected scent of dozens of these flouncy poppies, I can’t help but be a little sad. Their blooming season will end soon, and  Summer’s full flame will ensure that eggs will fry on sidewalks rather than perch prettily on stems.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    June 7, 2010 12:20 am

    We just saw our first batch of blooming matilijas in Golden Gate park last week. Thankfully we don’t have to deal with summer heat unless we drive to it 🙂 Hurray for living on the foggy coast! Love the hipstamatic pics!

  2. AnnyOminous permalink
    June 7, 2010 8:34 pm

    Visit La Purisima Mission in Lompoc for a full display of these poppies and learn more about the herbs and floing egg syndrome here!wers of the ative americans. A hidden gem this missin is the most restored in California. A Purisima People’s Da June 1 will feature living history displas of candle-making, spinning, weaving, adobe-brick making, fresh tortillas to sample, tours, livestock tending, and crafts and games. Lompoc is also a unique and dstinguished wine appellation designation (Santa Rta Hills) and is always cool, so no eggs will fry, nor your feet! There is also a challenging golf course, Solvang, and a Chumash gamblig casino nearby. Come visit the mission if you like this kind of thing.

  3. Elizabeth Han permalink
    June 7, 2010 9:48 pm

    Fried-egg poppies, I love that.

  4. AnnyOminous permalink
    June 7, 2010 11:29 pm

    The date is June 12 for La Purisima living history — excuse my typo, and events are open to the public all year. Visit – enjoy!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 8, 2010 3:17 am

      Thanks for all the info, and if it gets too hot down here we’ll take a trip up!

  5. June 17, 2010 11:19 pm

    I always thought that all poppies are orange – these are stunning, though. Thanks for the lesson, Reuben!

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