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When Do California Poppies Bloom? | BeCause Tees

When Do California Poppies Bloom?

With their vibrant orange petals that light up the Golden State's landscapes, California poppies are a celebrated symbol of spring and renewal. Known scientifically as Eschscholzia californica, these wildflowers are California's official state flower and make a captivating spectacle when in bloom. But when do California poppies bloom? There's not a straightforward answer! Find out more below.

California poppies in bloom

When Do California Poppies Bloom?

California poppies typically bloom from late winter through early summer, with the peak flowering period occurring from mid-March to May. However, the exact timing can vary significantly depending on various factors.

Factors influencing the bloom time of California poppies include:

  • Temperature.
  • Rainfall.
  • Levels of sunlight.
  • Strength of the wind.
  • Geographical location.

A super bloom occurs some years, with vast amounts of poppies in bloom at the same time, whereas other years have much lower amounts of flowers blooming simultaneously.

California poppies super bloom

Where to See California Poppies in Bloom

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Los Angeles County is one of the most famous locations to witness the bloom of California poppies. This state-protected reserve offers miles of trails through fields ablaze with orange.

The poppy blooming season in this state reserve varies each year, with the start of the bloom and also the duration of the bloom being different every time, dependant on the factors previously mentioned. Poppies here can bloom from mid-February to May. 

Beyond this reserve, poppies can be found decorating hillsides, coastal areas, and desert landscapes throughout California. Other notable viewing spots include:

  • Walker Canyon at Lake Elsinore.
  • Carrizo Plain National Monument.
  • Anza-Borrego State Park.
  • Chino Hills State Park.
  • Hite Cove.

California poppies

Tips for Enjoying the Bloom

1. Check Bloom Reports

Before heading out, check online resources for current bloom conditions. Social media and dedicated websites often provide updates on the best places and times to see the poppies.

2. Stay on the Trails

Always stay on designated trails. Leaving the trails is likely to result in damaged plants and compacted soil, meaning no poppies in that area for the next few years.

3. Don't Pick the Poppies

Not only is it illegal to remove or damage the flowers in state reserves, but leaving the poppies alone ensures that everyone can enjoy the blooms and that the poppies can reseed for the following year.

4. Prepare for Your Visit

Wear sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes. The weather can change quickly, so layered clothing is recommended. Of course, a California poppy shirt is the perfect accessory!

5. Leave No Trace

As always, leave no trace wherever you choose to visit the California poppies.


    The blooming of California poppies is a breathtaking display of nature's beauty. However, it's not easy to predict exactly when the poppies will bloom because of various factors. A great way to celebrate the beauty of the California poppy the whole year round is with our California Poppy Heart apparel and a colorful version of the design that shows off the beautiful orange hue!

    California Poppy Heart in color! 

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