From the Handbook of Nature Study, page 565:
"The California poppy is native of California; there it blossoms during the months of February, March, and April in greatest abundance. It is found in the desert as well as among the foothills."
Pages 563 to 565 in the Handbook of Nature Study are devoted exclusively to the California poppy. The HNS also has a lesson on poppies in general starting on page 560.
Quote from Muir Among the Animals:I can close my eyes and imagine how beautiful a place John Muir found in the early days of California's history. If you are a fan of John Muir's, this is a must read book.
"When California was wild, it was one sweet bee-garden throughout its entire length, north and south, and all the way across from the snowy sierra to the ocean.....Descending the eastern slopes of the coast range, through beds of gilias and lupines, and around many a breezy hillock and bush-crowned headland, I at length waded out into the midst of the glorious field of gold. All the ground was covered, not with grass and green leaves, but with radiant corollas, about ankle-deep next the foothills, knee-deep or more five or six miles out....Sauntering in any direction, hundreds of these happy sun-plants brushed against my feet at every step, and closed over them as if I were wading in liquid gold."
Barb-Harmony Art Mom