Romneya coulteri facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsRomneya coulteri
Romneya coulteri, the Coulter's Matilija poppy or California tree poppy, is a perennial species of flowering plant in the poppy family. Native to southern California and Baja California, it grows in dry canyons in chaparral and coastal sage scrub plant communities, sometimes in areas recently burned. It is a popular ornamental plant, kept for its large, showy flowers.
The specific epithet coulteri commemorates Thomas Coulter, an Irish botanist and explorer.
This is a shrub which may exceed 2 m (7 ft) in height, its woody stem growing from a network of rhizomes. The gray-green, waxy-textured leaves are each divided into a few lance-shaped lobes, the blades growing up to 20 centimeters (7.8 in) long. The inflorescence is a large, solitary flower with six crinkly white petals each up to 10 cm (4 in) long. At the center of the flower is a cluster of many yellow stamens. The fruit is a bristly capsule, 3–4 cm (1–2 in) long, containing many tiny seeds.
While beautiful, this plant often grows aggressively once planted. It spread clonally by underground rhizomes and can pop up several feet away from the original plant.
This plant bears the largest flowers of any species native to California, rivaled only by Hibiscus lasiocarpos. It was nominated for the honor of California state flower in 1890, but the California poppy won the title in a landslide.
Protopine is the major alkaloid of this plant, followed by coulteropine and romneine.
Romneya coulteri Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.