My mother introduced me to Matilija poppy when I was a teenager. She planted one in her front garden. The poppy didn’t exactly like where she put it, so it literally moved. It spread by underground stems to where it liked the growing conditions a little better. Once established where it wanted to be, the plants in the location where she initially planted it died back. I loved the Matilija poppy, so when I found out that Oak Hills Nursery carried it from an article published in the Victor Valley News Press, I rushed out to purchase one.
When I studied plant ecology and plant physiology at Fresno State University, I learned that Matilija poppy is a xerophytic plant. Apparently xerophytic is too fancy of a word for some folks. Since then I learned comparable term that the general public finds to be more acceptable: water wise plants, water wise native plants, drought tolerant plants, Drought resistant plants, sustainable plants , water-savvy plants, desert smart plants, Dryland garden plants, Water efficient plants, Easy to grow plants, Permaculture plants, Sustainable garden plants, etc. Apparently the term you use for a plant that doesn’t need irrigation once established says as much about the crowd you hang with as it does about the plant. Of course, that makes web searches less than efficient. To get comprehensive information, you need to know a lot of search terms. What ever you call it, Matilija poppy qualifies for High Desert Gardens. It tends to propagate in key lines, facultative depressional wetlands, mud puddles, swales, gullies, etc.