Monday, 21 February 2005

Meconopsis regia - Photos In The Garden

Meconopsis regia - Photos In The Wild

Meconopsis regia


Monocarpic evergreen species from a restricted area. It has yellow/green hairy leaves with no lobing. Lamjang Himal, east of Annapurna. The flowers are yellow with a deep purple stigma and borne on a tall spike.


The true species has not been in cultivation for more than 40 years but occasionally very similar ‘throwbacks’ occur from M. ‘napaulensis’ (hort). There is no reason to think it was particularly difficult but just hybridized rapidly with other evergreen monocarpic species. If it is re- collected then it will be necessary to maintain this species in isolation.

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Sunday, 20 February 2005

Meconopsis racemosa - Photos In The Garden

Seedlings of M. horridula ( Hort ) and wild M. racemosa from Sichuan. High altitude plants grow slowly. Another form from the same site as the last two on the 'wild page' of this species showing how variable the plants are in the wild even at a single site. Jian Zi Kou Pass, Tibet 4,660 m. John Mitchell.

Meconopsis racemosa - Photos In The Wild

Typical leaf but M. horridula would look the same. M. Thorne. Variation - out of flower M. horridula would look the same. M. Thorne.
M. rudis like leaf at 4,200m. Bhutan among M. racemosa. M. Thorne. W Lingshi 4,200m. Bhutan. M. Thorne.
W Lingshi 4,200m. Bhutan. M. Thorne. W Lingshi 4,200m. Bhutan. M. Thorne.
W Lingshi 4,200m. Bhutan. M. Thorne. Gongen Len. An example of a plant hard to place. It is apparently racemose (but when does agglutinisation cease). The leaves are upright and the spines long and dense but with grey/white anthers it would pass for M. prattii. Photographer Martin Walsh.

Superb pink form at Chukarpo, Bhutan

Martin Walsh.
Extremely unusual and beautiful red flowering plant. Chukarpo, Bhutan Martin Walsh.
Jian Zi Kou Pass, Tibet. 4660m. Typical raceme with distinctive red/purple spines to the stem. The webmaster is becoming more and more to the conclusion that Taylor was right and these are just a recemose lower altitude variation of M. horridula. John Mitchell. Another variation.Wider more glaucous leaves and the presence of some purple pigment at the base of the spines and thus resembling M rudis Same site and altitude as previous. John Mitchell. NOTE - MORE WILD IMAGES ON THE GARDEN PAGES OF THIS SPECIES.

Meconopsis racemosa

Photographer : Margaret Thorne


Lower down often in more protected sites from M. horridula. ( see also M. horridula, prattii and rudis ) Taylor lumped a number of species into M. horridula but C. Grey-Wilson has recently split them up. ( They are all spiny blue-flowered deciduous monocarpic species. ) This is really very much the same sky blue plant as M. horridula mainly with golden anthers ( Grey-Wilson describes the Sichuan form of this as having white or grey anthers ) but flowers as a raceme and can be quite a tall plant at 30 to 50 cms.


M. racemosa is also difficult. It is slow growing and again while probably easier than M. horridula will take some years to flower and losses will mount up. Correctly named viable wild seed is difficult to obtain.

Map Location

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Saturday, 19 February 2005

Meconopsis quintuplinervia - Photos In The Garden

Clone known as Kayes' compact form.A lovely form growing in Tromso, Norway, The fertile allotetraploid hybrid Lingholm between M. betonicifolia and M. grandis in the background. Finn Haugli.
Seed set in this species is rare since most people cultivate it as a very perennial clone. There are a number of these clones in cultivation - Kayes Compact - being one and all of them are likely to be 70 to 80 years in cultivation. It is only recently that new material has been introduced into cultivation and then I suspect a lot of this seed did not germinate. The webmaster decided that this species would behave like M. punicea and that only seed sown as soon as harvested would reliably germinate the following spring. Evelyn Stevens of Dunblane grows more than one clone and regularly obtains seed set. I could not germinate this until I treated seed like M. punicea and in 2010 produced about 30 plants. This plant was flowering in February!Plant immediately adjacent to previous, again in February. A lot of these M. quintuplinervia seedlings flowered in autumn (and this worried the webmaster since he feared they would flower and die). However all of them are now truly multirosetted - including the one in flower and there is every hope they are going to be as reliably perennial as the old clones. A dead flower stem can be seen on this plant and typical of the species it is fully winter dormant and maybe the autumn flowering was caused by a long wet summer and autumn and a fairly mild winter until recently. The plant in flower survived - 10 C. in flower! Most that have flowered are this pale mauve but they may change when flowering as more mature plants.

Meconopsis quintuplinervia - Photos In The Wild

A lovely habitat image of Farrer's Harebell poppy in the wild - a superb perennial garden plant - difficult from seed. Martin Walsh. Flower showing dark purple patches adjacent to ovary which are meant to be unique to M. sinomaculata. Just possible this is a hybrid (which do occur but not named yet) or else this pigmentation is related to something like soil properties. Daban Shan (on ledges), Qinghai. Hilary and John Birks.
Stone Mountain, Quinghai, 4,100m. A superb group of flowers all opening together on this very desirable perennial species. Hilary and John Birks. Matang Pass, Sichuan, N of Miyalou, 3,900m. Hilary and John Birks.

Meconopsis quintuplinerva


A mauve/purple polycarpic Chinese species centred north of Sichuan flowering from basal scapes with grey anthers and somewhat pendent flowers. Hybrids occur (M x Cookei) with M. punicea in wild.


A reliable perennial plant of variable colour and size which can be regularly divided when happy and often produces underground rhizomes. Seed (if you can ever find it) rarely germinates and is not often set in cultivation (but unlikely with single clones that usually are in gardens) The little wild seed I have had has also not germinated. Much wild seed is collected under-ripe and this may be the reason. However given the apparent more complex dormancy of the related M. punicea it would certainly be worth trying sowing immediately or as soon after harvest as possible.

Map Location

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Friday, 18 February 2005

Meconopsis qinghaiensis - Photos In The Garden

Meconopsis qinghaiensis - Photos In The Wild

Meconopsis qinghaiensis


M. horridula relative from NW China. This has small pale unlobed leaves with no dark pigment and pale spines. The plant is only about 8cms high with blue flowers on separate scapes with upward facing flowers and the petals reflexed back. This is a high altitude plant (5,000 metres) from Qinghai.


Map Location

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Thursday, 17 February 2005

Meconopsis punicea - Photos In The Garden



Flowering as a biennial will stand close planting.
Good growth by late October. Planted out August. Another example of a species being grown to a high standard north of the arctic circle in Tromso, Norway. Finn Haugli.
A rather attractive mutation in a Japanese garden in the island of Sapporo. Variation in this species is actually rare in cultivation - one can always hope for a white one! Tetsuo Nakazato. 4 plants of this colour variation occured in my garden in 2009. This is not M. x Cookei. I do not grow M. quintuplinervia but I suppose a hybrid with something else is possible. Shape and structure iidentical to M. punicea, remains to be seen if it is fertile. Not particularly attractive and care needed to stop contaminating normal red flowers.
This species typical hangs down with closed flowers but in warm humid weather it does open up after about 3 days. At this stage much pollen is usually shed and bees would pollinate it. However in cool or dry weather they can remain closed and hand pollinating at all times is sensible to obtain a seed set. There have been suggestions that this species is perennial in the wild - this needs more careful investigation since in the garden they can look perennial. The plant above has finished flowering and set seed, the root is rather dead but there are new side shoots. Experience says that even if these are rooted in mist they are hard to grow on and where they do succeed it is with a poor flower in late autumn.

Meconopsis punicea - Photos In The Wild

Gongen La. Martin Walsh. Gongen La. Martin Walsh.
Very large flower at Miyalou, Zhegu Shan, Sichuan. Colour is normally very uniform (at least in cultivation) but variation has been reported in the wild. Harry Jans. Wonderful packaging of a very large flower in a small bud. Wolong, Sichuan 4110m. Harry Jans.
Flower designed to shed rain but difficult for a pollinating insect. In the garden without hand pollinating they often do not set seed. Maybe they have a specialized pollinating insect in the wild. Wolong. Harry Jans. Wolong, Sichuan, 4110m. Harry Jans.
Lovely habitat shot, re-inforcing the image of prayer flags in the wind. Miyalou, Zhegu Shan, Sichuan. 4050m. Harry Jans. Huanglong, Sichuan. 3950m. Hybrids occur in the garden between M. integrifolia and M. quintuplinervia (M. x Finlayorum) but they have not been recorded between M. integrifolia and M. punicea although - as here - they occur commonly together. The webmaster has many times failed to make the cross in the garden. Harry Jans.

Another image of a very large flower taken by Harry Jans. Until recently nearly all of this species in cultivation were descendants of Peter Cox's collection many years ago and all these flowered - as did subsequent generations - with relatively uniform flowers of a smaller size. Recent collections show this species to be more variable and maybe even perennial in some locations. These variations should be looked for in the wild. I still dream of a white one!