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Are California Poppies Edible? [Truth Revealed]

Being a state flower and native of the Golden State, California Poppies often become the talk of the hour to know if they are digestible. 

Generally, California Poppies are edible, with yellow to orange flowers and seeds. You can use flowers to garnish foods and salads because of little or no opium, and seeds in the cake after washing thoroughly.

Learn how you can get the most out of the California Poppies and their edible parts to prepare your instant recipe.

What Part of the California Poppy Can You Eat?

California Indians have used the California Poppies for psychoactive, therapeutic, and hallucinogenic effects to help with sleep and anxiety.

You can eat the cup-shaped yellow, orange and red flowers. Besides, the root, stem, leaves and seeds also serve various dishes, especially teas and tinctures.
The orange bloom of California poppies in a garden
The California Poppies boast grayish-green to purplish leaves along their vibrant, cup-shaped blooms.

Moreover, this Poppy plant variety gives the best effect when mixed with herbs like Lavender, valerian, Hawthorn, and Passionflower.

California Poppies are often compared with Opium Poppies for they belong to the same family, but the California Poppies are much safer and non-addictive than the other.

However, the consumption of large quantities may be mildly Narcotic.

California Poppies Recipes

The extract of California Poppies is famous for its soothing and sedative effects, which you can utilize by preparing some dishes and herbal teas.

Some famous recipes using the California Poppies with dishes names are below.

1. California Poppy Tincture

  • Take a transparent jar and wash it with warm water to sterilize it.
  • Cut the parts of California Poppies, which are 1 ounce in weight, using a scissor for flowers and leaves and a knife for stems and roots if it is thick.
  • Then, use a spoon to slide the plant parts inside the jar and push the matter down.
  • Afterward, use 5 ounces of 80-100 proof alcohol like vodka or any of your choice to fill the jar.
  • Tighten the lid of the jar and place it on a shelf in a dark area for at least a month.
  • Meanwhile, shake the jar 1-2 times daily for the best outcomes.
  • After a month, use a strainer to filter the parts out.
  • Fill the liquid in a dropper for ease, as you need to add the tincture to your water as needed.

2. Poppy Seed Cake

  • Boil 1 cup of California Poppy seeds and 1 cup of milk in a saucepan and cool down for 20 minutes.
  • On the other hand, preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare a tube pan by greasing it with butter and flour it lightly with all-purpose flour.
  • Mix 8 ounces of butter with 2 cups of sugar in an electric blender to prepare a cream.
  • Add yolks of 3 eggs, two tablespoons of vanilla extract, and the seed-milk mixture in the blender and beat until smooth.
  • Then, mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 tablespoon salt, and 2 and 1/2 tablespoon baking powder into the bowl of the above-prepared mix.
  • Take a bowl with a whisk attached to blend the egg whites and add to the prepared batter.
  • Now, scrape the batter in the pan and bake it in the oven for at least an hour.

3. California Poppy Tea

  • Prepare the flowers and leaves of California Poppies by cutting them into small pieces. You can also use plant-dried matter.
  • Take a boiling pan and pour a cup of water into it.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of the herb to the water. Cover the pan and let the part infuse for at least 10 minutes.
  • Now, strain the tea out. As the plant taste bitter, you can sweeten it as per your taste using sugar.

From Editorial Team

Extra Tips!

The flame flower or California Poppies taste bitter, so direct consumption might not be palatable, but it is undoubtedly edible by processing.

Meanwhile, growing California Poppies are not illegal, as many online sites sell the seeds.

So, restrain from picking the wildflower on state property as it might lead to a fine or even jail.