Romneya coulteri, commonly known as the Matilija Poppy, is a beautiful native plant of Soutern California. Its large flowers resemble a fried egg, sunny side up, however, regardless of how you feel about breakfast foods, this plant a visual stunner with its wrinkly flower petals.  Once established, their drought tolerant qualities make them an excellent choice for the water wise garden.


These beauties native range is Southern California (along the coastal ranges) and Northern Mexico. True locals that are made for our area. They are fast growing and have eye-catching, large yellow and white flowers that bloom in spring and summer. Once they are established in the landscape, after a year or so, turn the irrigation off for them. They tend to grow so well in our climate, along with their large size, that they have a tendency to take over planters, so plant with some degree of caution.



Landscape Planting – Romneya coulteri Basics 


Botanical Name: Romneya coulteri

Common Name: Matilija Poppy

Type: perennial shrub

Native Range: California, Northern Mexico

Size: 6 to 10 feet tall with a similar width

Bloom Time: Spring and summer

Bloom Color: White and yellow

Sun: Full sun

Growth Rate: Fast

Water & Soil: Once the plant is established, occasional supplemental irrigation. They require sandy, well draining soil

Maintenance: They are best when left alone. Moderate pruning can be done after flowering.

Suggested Use: Hedges, specimen plants, pollinator garden (butterflies and bees)




For landscape planting, Matilija grows needs full sun. Our landscape designers at Creative Concepts Landscape will be happy to look over your property and determine areas that are optimal for these types of plants.


Our designers can take a look at your property and see if Matilija’s needs can be met. We create a design plan for all of our consultations to determine what plants and needs match each individual property. Matilija makes an excellent addition to colorful gardens, with their eye-catching bright white and yellow flowers. They are known as one of the most beautiful native flowering plants. Creative Concepts Landscape will help to determine the best location on your property, or create the conditions to promote a healthy, beautiful garden.


Matilija has low water requirements once established. They are native to our region, thus their needs match the natural rhythms of our climate. They should be deeply watered about once a month once established. During the rainy season, their irrigation can be completely turned off. Creative Concepts Landscape has installed many irrigation systems (drip and sprinkler), and we would be happy to take a look at your property to come up with a design that could meet aloe’s needs.


Matilija needs well-draining soils, which much of the soil in Southern California has. They also do not need nutrient fertilizers. Creative Concepts Landscape will determine what conditions would be best for Matilija in your landscape and make the necessary additions or changes.




Pruning & Maintenance 


Matilija has low maintenance needs. It is mostly best to leave it alone, once it is established. Pruning, if absolutely necessary (such as removing broken branches) should be done in fall after the flowering season.


These plants are drought tolerant, however providing supplemental water for these plants, especially while they are becoming established in the landscape, is often the highest maintenance requirement. Creative Concepts Landscape has been installing irrigation systems for over twenty years. We will be happy to schedule a consultation and come up with an irrigation system plan and install it. Creative Concepts landscape also repairs and refurbishes existing irrigation systems, so they are in optimal, efficient condition.


Creative Concepts Landscape has options for maintenance schedules. Many of our clients have us maintain their property weekly or two times a month, however we also offer periodic cleanups. These cleanups range from four times a year, twice a year, and sometimes once a year. We will be happy to talk with you and determine a maintenance/cleanup schedule that fits your property needs.



Landscape Uses 


Matilija has very striking yellow and white flowers. They can fit within many different landscape aesthetics, from Mediterranean gardens, chaparral gardens, butterfly gardens, and even desert themed gardens as a focal point. They can grow quite large under ideal conditions, larger than most landscapes can accommodate, thus Creative Concepts Landscape will be happy to discuss their potential in your garden. Creative Concepts Landscape gets many requests for garden installations, of which Matilija can be a beautiful addition. Our team of designers and technicians has decades of experience designing and installing gardens.


Creative Concepts Landscape creates a landscape plan and design for your specific property characteristics along with your wants. Our highly experienced designers will be able to see what plant types and layout will complement your landscape’s existing features to come up with a planting design plan.



Thank you for joining us again in this week’s horticultural adventures. Please come back next Wednesday for out next blog post, and as always, contact us for all your landscape needs!


By Daniel Williams

Client Liaison for Creative Concepts Landscape