Photographer : Margaret Thorne
M. horridula relative with divided leaves (pinnately lobed) from the western Himalayas (Kashmir and surrounds). Flowers blue or mauve with yellowish anthers. Monocarpic and dies to a resting bud in winter. Wild seed is occasionally obtainable. M. speciosa ( a related plant) also has divided foliage and a blue flower but comes from a completely separate part of the eastern Himalayas and China.
Standard cultivation:- store seed cool and dry, sow early January and leave cold but just damp outside for 3-4 weeks to stratify. Apply gentle heat beneath from beginning of February and seed usually germinates in two to three weeks. Prick on early May and pot on by Mid June. Plants tend to go dormant by late summer and can then be planted out without disturbing the tap root. Some will flower at 2 years but most at three.
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