Thursday, 10 February 2005

Meconopsis paniculata


This has a very wide distribution along the Himalayas from the far west of Nepal to northern Myanmar and NW India. Over this range it is very variable. They vary from plants with leaves that are scarcely lobed to those that are deeply lobed. In some regions the rosettes are all an acid green yellow and in others a grey green almost like superba. They are also variable in height from just over 1 metre to well over two. The flowers are yellow with either a mauve or a green stigma. Taylor defined this species as showing a sub stellate pubescence. Even using the scanning electron microscope this is not easy to see. What I think it means is that underneath the usual leaf hairs there is an almost felt like sub layer. M. robusta is probably most likely to be confused with this or the true M. napaulensis which lacks the under felt and only comes from central Nepal. It has a pale and a distinctive long narrow fruit capsule.


Easy in cultivation with winter sown seed (stored cool and dry), a little heat by mid February sees quick germination, prick on with first true leaves and pot on by mid June for planting out in August. Winter rosettes are attractive and in a site that does not waterlog usually over winter well and flower mainly at 3 years.

Map Location

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