Saturday, 8 January 2005

Meconopsis concinna - Photos In The Wild

This has recently been split back from M. lancifolia. It is characterized by large flowers on short single scapes. This might just be an altitude effect, however the main picture under this species was only about 300m. higher than typical racemose M. lancifolia to which this is closely related. Photographer David Rankin. A different angle on the previous image.

David Rankin.
A herbarium type image clearly showing the relatively large flower size and the scapose nature of the plant. The other Meconopsis has characters of M pratti but the more glaucous leaf and particularly purple pigment at the spine bases. These plants in between M.rudis and M.prattii are common in Yunnan. David Rankin. High up on the Baima Shan, Yunnan. This like the other images on this page are clearly very close to M. lancifolia and the dwarf scapose plant with few flowers may just be an altitude effect. However the webmaster was with a party that found this plant on the Da Xue Shan and it was growing only a few hundred metres from racemose large forms of M. lancifolia and quite close enough for bumble bees to cross pollinate. More work is needed on a range of habitats before the relationship becomes clearer. Hilary Birks 2009.
Multi flowered dwarf plant from the Baima Shan, Yunnan. It may well be that the scapose habit with large flowers on a dwarf plant are just another example of an altitude effect on a highly widespread and variable taxon - namely M. lancifolia. Certainly Taylor considered M. concinna just a variety of M. lancifolia. A very beautiful plant nevertheless. Hilary Birks. Another similar plant from the Baima Shan. Hilary Birks.
From the west side of the Baima Shan in Yunnan. This may well be an altitude effect since taller racemose forms were present lower down. This has grey/white anthers and this appears variable in M. lancifolia. There are a number of species where at higher altitudes (roughly above 5,000 metres) plants become dwarf, fewer flowered and entirely scapose. Exactly how you classify these plants needs a lot of thought. Martin Walsh. Another rather different small scapose plant from the Shika Shan taken by Alain Denis at high altitude. Again I am not really sure about the true identity but this is a distinctive plant that does not immediately fit into M. lancifolia. We may have to wait until C. Grey-Wilson's monograph is published for just where all the boundaries lie in the purple flowered Chinese species.