Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Meconopsis wallichi


Another evergreen monocarpic with blue, white or purple coloured flowers. Taylor lumped this into M. napaulensis. This was never sensible since M. wallichii and M. napaulensis are not fertile when crossed. It can be a tall plant 2 metres high when the flower spike is fully elongated. There have been two quite distinct plants in cultivation. 40 years ago there was a plant with duck egg blue or white flowers with large spaces between the flowering scapes and long flowering stems. The leaves were finely divided and presented a delicate fern like appearance. The other plant is much more robust, again with finely divided leaves which look much more solid than the other variety. The whole plan, though large is, much more compact and a good plant can be a solid mass of purple flowers. The colour varies since many are rather a muddy purple but really good rich purples do occur. It is I suppose conceivable that two different species are involved. Ref. Curtis Botanical Magazine (2002) 23,176. The mauve flowered evergreen monocarpic plants in Sichuan and Yunnan were put into M. napaulensis by Taylor. He had put what we now call M. wallichii into M. napaulensis (This is clearly inappropriate since they are sterile when crossed). One can see, given M. wallichii was in with M. napaulensis, why he thought these Chinese mauve coloured evergreen were variations. If you look at the images under M. wilsonii growing in Glendoick gardens it even seems reasonable. It is now clear however that the mauve evergreen species are a separate late flowering group but they need more study particularly with regard to the new plants recently found in NE Yunnan.


Easy from seed and grows quickly to a good sized plant and once grown are fairly distinct (more fern like) in both early seedling growth and as they mature compared to M. napaulensis (Hort) and very many will flower in the second year if well grown. They flower nearly a month after most other monocarpic evergreens.

Map Location

View Meconopsis World wallichii in a larger map