Matilija Poppies (Romneya coulteri), Topanga Canyon, CA
Photo by Kathy Vilim
I first saw Matilija (ma-tila-huh) Poppies on a trip to Catalina Island many years ago. I was visiting the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens (Catalina Island Conservancy, Avalon, CA) and there they were: So elegant, tall and wild, their petals like crepe paper. They stood together, a big stand of them, swaying with the breeze at easily 5ft in height!
Sometime later, I ended up at a plant sale at Theodore Payne Foundation. I don’t know why I was looking at native plants. Perhaps I wanted plants that could handle my hillside without much care, something drought tolerant. My hillside gets so much wind & sun and grows wild with native shrubbery & cactus. Or, perhaps I was drawn to search for Matilija...
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