Plants annual, caulescent, erect, 5-30 cm, glabrous, sometimes glaucous. Leaves basal and cauline; blade glabrous; ultimate lobes elongate, obtuse. Inflorescences cymose or 1-flowered; buds erect, blunt or rounded short-acuminate, tip less than 1/4 length of bud. Flowers: receptacle obconic, less than 2.5 cm broad, cup without spreading free rim; calyx acuminate, glabrous; petals yellow, sometimes with orange spot at base, 5-20 mm. Capsules 4-7 cm. Seeds brown, ellipsoid, 1.4-1.6 mm, reticulate. 2 n = 24.
Flowering spring (Apr-Jun). Open places, especially in chaparral; 0-300 m; Calif.; Mexico.
Within the flora area, Eschscholzia ramosa is known only from the California Channel Islands.