Escolzia origins and characteristics

Escolzia is a perennial herbaceous plant, although it is almost always treated as an annual plant, since in some conditions it does not survive the winter. Its origins are North American, which is why it is also known as the California poppy. The plant looks like a set of different and dense small bushes of large leaves with irregular edges, green in color tending to gray. These bushes serve as the basis for the thin stems that can reach up to 40 centimeters in height. The flowers of the escolzia are similar to poppies in their shape and are predominantly yellow or orange, although there are also varieties with white or red flowers. A single inflorescence develops on each stem, formed by four petals. Flowering begins with the warm season and lasts all summer.

Escolzia cultivation

To cultivate the escolzia it must be borne in mind that you need a very sunny area and a rather mild climate, since Californian poppies are very afraid of the cold. Despite being a perennial plant, in too harsh climates at the first colds the escolzia withers and then dies. Even in Italy it is now treated as an annual plant; it is rare to cultivate it in pots because it tends to widen a lot, but it is possible to do so, so as to shelter it in the winter months. It is a plant that instead resists heat and long periods of drought well, so it should be watered sporadically and without exaggerating. If the heat is torrid in summer, then you need to water it a little more; moreover, a good fertilizer for flowering plants must be mixed with the irrigation water approximately every two weeks. The soil must be well drained,

Escolzia cures and multiplication

The flowering of the escolzia is very showy because it produces large and brightly colored flowers, and it is also very long lasting, as it continues until the end of summer. However, if you want to favor this process, it is better to gradually eliminate the dried flowers, so that others can grow on the same stems. It must also be borne in mind that during flowering the bushes at the base of the plant tend to expand, so you must try to contain them if you do not want them to invade the surrounding soil. As for pests, beware of snails that like to eat these poppies, while aphids and spider mites damage the leaves. The multiplication of the escolzia occurs by seed: it is necessary to use the seeds of the previous year, burying them at the end of winter or in spring. in the latter case they can be planted directly. Before carrying out the operation, the soil must be prepared with a good organic compound.

Escolzia beneficial properties

The extracts of the escolzia are widely used in herbal products because they have numerous beneficial properties: they are sedative, relaxing, calming and disinfectant, for this reason they are used in products such as painkillers, anti-inflammatories, antifungals and antibacterials, including mouthwashes for oral hygiene. Its calming virtues make this plant also useful for fighting insomnia and, since it is not invasive, it can also be used by children. In the latter case there are different ways of taking: before going to bed, you can drink a herbal tea based on escolzia, perhaps made with the leaves collected in your garden if you grow it; or you can take a tablet, or you can drink a few drops of the extract mixed in water. In any case, the escolzia must always be taken following the advice of the doctor or herbalist, without exceeding the recommended dosage: it is advisable to try it for a few days and see how our body reacts. It is to be avoided if you are pregnant, if you are breastfeeding, and if you are hypotensive or bradycardic.

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