Tuesday, 8 February 2005

Meconopsis napaulensis


Bhutan, Note these sorts of images are very valuable on what is an identification website and with digital cameras it is relatively easy to take a series of close-ups of critical features as well as a range of plants and not just the prettiest! Margaret Thorne.This is the monocarpic evergreen plant grown in large numbers in many gardens. It is a garden hybrid swarm with probably true M. napaulensis, M. paniculata, M. staintoni, M. regia and probably more. It is highly variable in degree of lobed leaf shape, stigma colour and especially flower colour which ranges from an almost black red through every shade of pink to white and yellow. The true M. napaulensis described by C. Grey-Wilson as 1 metre high plants with yellow flowers and green stigmas and simple leaf hairs in the wild may be centred on Gasainkund in Central Nepal. Ref. Curtis Botanical Magazine (2002) 23,176.

New images have been added of the true species in the wild from Paul Egan at 4,100m at Gosainkund. The webmaster confesses that he finds these ferny leaved yellow flowered monocarpic species from the mid Himalayas difficult to key out. Professor David Rankin, currently working on the purple relatives of M. napaulensis from China and adjacent Tibet, has suggested that a better way of identifying these types of plants would be a table of descriptions of a whole range of important features and biometrics for each species rather than a standard bifurcating key. Hopefully the Meconopsis group based at the Royal Botanic garden in Edinburgh will start to look at reliable ways of separating some of theses difficult species- if indeed they are separable into species.


Map Location

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