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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Ordo: Ranunculales

Familia: Papaveraceae
Subfamilia: Papaveroideae
Tribus: Papavereae
Genus: Romneya
Species: R. coulteri – R. trichocalyx

Romneya Harv. (1845)

Type species: R. coulteri Harv.


Farr, E. R. & Zijlstra, G. eds. (1996-) Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). 2009 Nov 11 [1].
Harvey, W.H. 1845: London J. Bot. 4: 74.

Romneya (/ˈrɒmniə/)[1] is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the poppy family (Papaveraceae). There are two species in genus Romneya, which was named for Irish astronomer John Thomas Romney Robinson.[2] They are known commonly as Matilija poppies (/məˈtɪlɪhɑː/ mə-TIL-i-hah) or tree poppies and are native to California and northern Mexico.

They are perennial subshrubs with woody stems. They may grow to a height of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) and a width of 1 m (39 in), with the flowers up to 13 cm (5.1 in) across. The silvery green leaves are deeply cut, with a small fringe of hairs at the margins.

They are notable for their large white flowers with intense yellow centers, blooming in summer. Romneya produce the largest flowers of any members of the poppy family.[3] These flowers prefer a warm, sunny spot and fertile soil with good water drainage. They are not easily grown but once established are difficult to remove. In the wild, they are known as "fire followers" as they can be frequently, but not exclusively, found in burned areas.[4] It is also known as the "fried egg flower" or "fried egg plant".[5]
Matilija poppy at Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco

The two species are:

Romneya coulteri Harv. – Coulter's Matilija poppy
Romneya trichocalyx Eastw. – Bristly Matilija poppy. Some consider this a variety of Romneya coulteri, but it is accepted in recent manuals.


Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
Jepson Manual Treatment
Flora of North America
Quinn, Ronald D. and Keeley, Sterling, C. (2006). Introduction to California Chaparral. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 145.
Gutierrez, Mary (2013), Matilija Poppy. In Northwest Garden News, online edition. accessed 5 July 2013.

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