Thursday, 3 February 2005

Meconopsis integrifolia


(see also M. pseudointegrifolia) Widely distributed from Tibet, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan. One of the truly great Meconopsis with huge (at best 25 cms.) flowers of a deep yellow. This species is more or less deciduous and monocarpic. Taylor lumped a number of taxons into this species but C Grey-Wilson has recently split the species into two with a number of sub-species. The second species is M. pseudointegrifolia (qv). There are three main differences described by Grey-Wilson (i) M. integrifolia has markedly 3 veined leaves while M. pseudointegrifolia has a variable irregular leaf venation. (ii) M. integrifolia has deep yellow flowers that open upright while M. pseudointegrifolia has more creamy yellow flowers that hang sideways or even down. (iii) Seed pods in M.integrifolia are more rounded with a short style and a flat wide stigma while M. pseudointegrifolia has longer seed pods and a long style (7mm or more) and a more narrow stigma. See also M. pseudointegrifolia since this pair of species show much variation over their range and images of wild flowering plants indicate it is difficult to fit every plant to one taxon or the other. Flower colour, position of flower (upright or horizontal) and style and stigma characteristic will separate mos. Care is needed to check all characters since the 3 veining becomes much more robust with height and at altitude leaves on M. pseudointegrifolia are very close to the classic 3 veining of M. integrifolia. It seems likely that the long style and more drooping flowers of M. pseudointegrifolia have evolved in damper climates. C Grey-Wilson has described a single subsp. lijiangensis The New Plantsman 1996.


This used to be an easy plant in Scotland which set masses of seed with high germination rate. They had been maintained in cultivation for many years without import of fresh seed. They grow on easily and some would even flower at two years. The bigger the plant the better the flower. Twenty years ago when the new species of M. pseudointegrifolia was collected in the wild this became fashionable to grow though the seed naming was often unpredictable. Since that time M. intergifolia has become much scarcer. It really is not certain whether it has become, like many species, more difficult or whether it was ignored. Seed of M. integrifolia is still occasionally now available from wild sources. Both species need a very rich organic soil and the better fed, the better they flower.

Map Location

View Meconopsis World integrifolia in a larger map