Romneya coulteri 'Butterfly'

Romneya coulteri ‘Butterfly’

This is a semi-evergreen perennial native to California. It has interesting bluish foliage, but it is the blossoms that attract the attention. Six enormous 4″ wide ruffled white petals surround a dark yellow center make it look exactly like a fried egg.


Spreads through rhizomes. Some sites have warnings about how aggressive it can be once established and one site says it can get to 35′ across! While it took a few years to get established for us, it has now settled in and is spreading out across the Land of the Giants. We will have to keep a watch on it and contain it if it spreads too far.

Pronunciation: ROM-nee-uh kol-TER-ee-eye

Species Meaning: Named for Dr. Thomas Coulter, 19th century Irish botanist

Romneya coulteri is native to Southern California.

Cultivation Notes

It is said to tolerate a wide variety of soil types, including low nutrient soil and needs no summer water.

Propagation Notes

Difficult to establish. Can be grown from seed and possibly from root cuttings.

Additional Information

Native to southern California and Baja California, where it grows in dry canyons in chaparral and coastal sage scrub plant communities, sometimes in areas recently burned.

In Our Garden

Plant ID: P20045

Found in Garden of the Giants,

One the right hand side when looking from the road, but spreading towards the middle quite quickly.

We acquired this plant from Xera.

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Family: Papaveraceae

Genus: Romneya

Species: coulteri

Variety: Butterfly

Commonly known as: Matilija Poppies or Fried Egg Plant

Height: 5ft to 10ft

Spread: >10ft

Growth Habit:
Sun Needs:
Full Sun
Soil Type:
Season of Interest:
Zn 0 to 6 - too cold for me!
Benefits and Attracts:
Bees, Birds, and Butterflies

Resistant to Deer.

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