Golden poppies are the Golden State’s state flower, and there’s a reason for that. They are truly show-stopping, hit-the-brakes spectacular when in full bloom.
Currently, the poppies are in bloom on the hills overlooking Lake Kaweah, as well as profusely carpeting the foothills along Dry Creek Drive (accessible from Highway 216, the “Woodlake road”). The Golden Poppy, belonging to the Papaveraceae family, grows wild throughout California. For indigenous people, poppies were a food source.
Poppies were designated the state flower in 1903. Every year, April 6 is California Poppy Day and each May, there is Poppy Week (this year, May 13-18). Since the poppy is the state flower, it is illegal to pick the flowers if they are on state property (state parks, schools, courthouses, etc.).