This miraculous flower is among a precious few species that ONLY emerge and carpet the ground following a wildfire - specifically a wildfire of the California type - burned chaparral and sagebrush overgrowth. They are called "fire annuals" or "fire followers," and their seeds will lie dormant in the soil for 50 years or longer - and only germinate after a fire. Fire poppies will grow profusely for several years but will eventually disappear again as the chaparral plants return.
The regular chaparral plants such as sagebrush, black sage and laurel have very strong toxins which permeate the soil around the plant and act as germination inhibitors. But these toxins burn away in a fire and other plants seeds will flourish - this is what gives a "fire scar" bounteous flowers that haven't been seen in years.
There was a house fire in our neighborhood this weekend - fortunately no one was hurt - but the house is a "total loss."
Have you got something in your life that is or was a "total loss?"
Watch for those precious miraculous things that will germinate ONLY in those conditions.
I know that might sound preachy - especially if you're in the thick of things right now - but just try to remember the fire poppy .......