Matilija Poppies (aka “Fried Egg Flower”) or Romneya coulteri

The striking flower with three names is now blooming on a hillside somewhere near you….. The blossoms are huge, about 6″ across. The plant itself can get huge also, according to one nursery, “to 8′ tall and ‘forever’ wide”, meaning that once they get established, they can spread indefinitely and be invasive, or at least too big for a modest sized yard. Although they are not always easy to establish, once they take off, they need nothing whatsoever provided to them, no water aside from rain (little though there is here in Southern California), no fertilizer, no mulch, no attention of any kind. They go completely dormant in summer and come raging back again the next spring. They are feisty, independent, persistent, not always well-behaved, beautiful and outlandish. Thus, they share the same characteristics of some of my favorite people which is why I’m always happy to run into them again.

Matilija Poppy mixed with wild Mustard

aka "Fried Egg Flowers"

botanically known as Romneya coulteri

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2 Responses to Matilija Poppies (aka “Fried Egg Flower”) or Romneya coulteri

  1. Pingback: Matilija Poppies (aka “Fried Egg Flower”) or Romneya coulteri

  2. mlaiuppa says:

    I was lucky enough to get a small cutting of this at a farmer’s market.

    It was touch and go in the gallon pot. At times it looked like it would die. But I have it in a semi shaded area that gets an occasional sprinkle when I turn the hose on (the hose bib has a bad washer and leaks a bit.) It’s become a bush now and is starting to flower.

    It’s not where I want it to be permanently located and is very sensitive to it’s roots being disturbed. So rather than move it I think I’ll propagate some cuttings and if I can get one to take, I’ll put that where I want it permanently. I’ll keep the present one trimmed back or may even dig it up. I’ll try doing that in the fall when it goes dormant but not until I’m sure my cuttings are flourishing.

    It really has wonderful flowers. Large and papery. A brilliant white with a large rich yellow center. Very like the fried egg is it nicknamed.

    I notice the foliage on my plant is slightly different than that pictured here. The foliage is sparser and a much grayer green color.

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