July 17, 2017

The Answer to Animal, Plant, Mineral, or Man-Made: #3

Take one last look at the mystery picture for the week of July 10…

Clue: You’ll deserve a gold medal for guessing this one right!

Now scroll to the bottom of the page to discover the answer.

The California poppy is often called a “cup of gold” flower. Image courtesy of Alia Thompson.

It’s a California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), which grows along the beach at MBARI.

The California poppy is known by many names: California sunlight, flame flower, golden poppy, and cup of gold. Although it was designated the state flower of California in 1903, the flower can be found well outside of its original west coast range. Its popularity in wildflower gardens, combined with its hardy nature, means it can often be found in most of the United States, as well as abroad. Historically, the California poppy was used as an herbal medicine.

The California poppy is quite durable and can grow both perennially or annually, depending on the severity of winters. At night or on a particularly cloudy coastal day, the California poppy often closes its flower.  April 6 is California Poppy Day.

Congratulations to David Jumes for correctly guessing it was a golden poppy!

Runners up: Pierre Baudin and Rachel Kahn.

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