Wednesday, 5 January 2005

Meconopsis betonicifolia - Photos In The Wild

Rong Chu. S.E.Tibet Fred Hunt. A magnificent plant by any standards but note the almost total lack of style below the large pale green stigma - meant to be typical of this species Serkhyem La Tibet 4,600 m. John Mitchell. A very different plant indeed from the same general region of Tibet and note the really long style below the pollen covered stigma. More typical of the Chinese form (species) but really showing how variable characters can be John Mitchell.
A superb form of this legendary plant at the same site as the previous. John Mitchell. The photographer noted there were differences in the population at different sites in this valley. Another plant at this same site. The leaves of many of the images by John Mitchell show the typical 'betony' shaped leaf. This plant however has a leaf more like some forms of M. grandis.  John Mitchell.
Massed blooms in this Tibet site. Presumably many of these are perennial. It is interesting however that recent seed collections from this region have genrally flowered and then died as monocarpic plants. Many of the perennial forms and species of Meconopsis tend to do this. Whether it is innate or due to cultivation techniques and a strange climate is not yet clear.   John Mitchell. Colour variation. Mauve Meconopsis betonicifolia regularly occur from seed - though a strain called Hensol Violet has been isolated (see garden pages). Sekhyem La. 4,600 m. John Mitchell.
Another mauve form from the west side of the pass (Serkhyem La) John Mitchell noted there were different forms of this species on the two sides of the pass.