Meconopsis

Meconopsis

Meconopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. The species have attractive flowers and have two distinct ranges. A single species, Meconopsis cambrica, also known as the Welsh poppy, is indigenous to England, Wales, Ireland, and the fringes of Western Europe. The other 40 or so (depending on classification) species are found in the Himalayas. Within the Himalayan types there is much debate as to what constitutes a particular species as many readily hybridise with each other and produce viable seed. It is likely that some individually-named species are in fact a single species but with an under-appreciated morphological diversity.

A large proportion of species are monocarpic and as such are notoriously difficult to maintain in cultivation.

Meconopsis grandis, also known as the blue poppy, is the national flower of Bhutan.

Cultivation

Himalayan varieties have the reputation for being difficult to grow from seed, but when germinating new plants, using fresh seeds will help. On the other hand, the Welsh poppy is sometimes considered a weed, albeit a handsome one, due to its vigorous self-seeding. It comes as a surprise to many that poppies are available in shades of blue. These plants are also available in a variety of strong colours, including blue, red, orange, purple, white and yellow depending on species and cultivar.

Sources and references

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