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Channel Islands Tree Poppy
Dendromecon harfordii
About Channel Islands Tree Poppy (Dendromecon harfordii) Nurseries Show All Photos A species of flowering plant in the poppy family known by the common names Channel Islands tree poppy and Harford's tree poppy. It is sometimes treated as subspecies harfordii of its relative, Dendromecon rigida. This is a shrub or small tree reaching heights between 2 and 6 meters. It has thin branching stems covered sparsely in smooth-edged, oval-shaped silvery leaves 3 to 8 centimeters long. It bears showy flowers with four bright yellow petals each 2 or 3 centimeters long. The fruit is a curved, cylindrical capsule over 7 centimeters in length.

Channel Island Bush Poppy is spectacularly beautiful, easy to grow and very fast growing. It can grow to 6 feet in two years, and is covered by beautiful yellow flowers most of the year. It likes full sun and well draining soils, though does well in dry part shade also. It likes gentle slopes and flats. They are very tolerant of summer water for their first two years, but when mature, best to cut down to 1x / month or eliminate supplemental water completely, especially if the plant is in part shade.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.5 - 20 ft (1.1 - 6.1 m)

Max. Width
8 ft (2.4 m)



Growth Rate


Blue green, somewhat slivery, oval and pointed

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer, Fall

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Chaparral, coastal sage scrub, coastal bluff scrub, and foothill woodland slopes, canyons and flats on the Channel Islands, where the climate is very strongly marine influenced.

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
7' - 1868'

Annual Precip. ?
11.8" - 22.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 0.31"

Coldest Month ?
46.8° F - 57.3° F

Hottest Month ?
62.7° F - 74.8° F

Humidity ?
1.37 vpd - 19.68 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates sandy or clay soils

Soil PH
5.0 - 8.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Sunset Zones ?
7, 8*, 9*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Island companion plants include Santa Cruz Island Ironwood (Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. asplenifolius), Island Live Oak (Quercus tometella), Catalina Cherry (Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii), Island Bristleweed (Hazardia detonsa), Redflower Buckwheat (Eriogonum grande var. rubescens), Island Snapdragon (Gambelia speciosa), and Giant Coreopsis (Leptosyne gigantea). Other chaparral and sage scrub companions include California Encelia (Encelia californica), California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica), Bladderpod (Peritoma arborea), and Ceanothus spp

Butterflies ?

Neoterpes edwardsata Image
Neoterpes edwardsataNeoterpes edwardsata

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Fire treatment or 1-1.5 mos. stratification ( Hildreth and Tohnson 1976). 3 mos. stratification with a diurnal fluctuation from 46° to 70°F may improve germination. More easily propagated from stem cuttings in winter with intermittent mist and bottom heat.

Common uses

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Dendromecon harfordii var. rhamnoides,Dendromecon harfordii var. harfordii

Common Names
Channel Island Tree Poppy, Harford's Tree Poppy

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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