California Poppy (Eschscholzia) Variety
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: B. MacLeod
Posted on: January 16, 2003

I am currently searching for seeds of Eschscholzia californica var. aurantiaca. From what I understand, it is a variety with orange flowers, which matches the description of the Eschscholzia variety you supply. I am curious whether you know the variety of Eschscholzia you have for sale, and if not, whether there are other orange-flowering varieties of this species? Thanks for your time,

According to the International Plant Name Index (http://www.uk.ipni.org/ipni/query_ipni.html), the scientific variety name Eschscholzia californica var. aurantiaca does not exist. Instead, ‘Aurantiaca’ is a horticultural cultivar that is properly notated as Eschscholzia californica ‘Aurantiaca’. This seems to be a minor distinction to most gardeners but it can be important when searching by computer in databases or on the Internet.

We do not sell the ‘Aurantiaca’ cultivar. Our main concern is the medicinal usage, and the colour of the flowers is not particularly important. Generally, the orange-flowered wild-type is preferred for medicinal use, but any colour is acceptable and we only guarantee that the species is correct. ‘Aurantiaca’ is a specific horticultural selection, presumably from the wild type, that is sold for ornamental use; so if your main concern are the ornamental features of the ‘Aurantiaca’ cultivar then you will need to search for another supplier. Note: another cultivar name used for ‘Aurantiaca’ is ‘Orange King’.

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