Monday, 2 January 2006

Evergreen Leaves + Yellow Flowers

This M. paniculata. This is a very widespread and variable species from the Himalayas. George Taylor caused confusion with this species by saying it had a sub-stellate pubescence on the foliage. No-one has really worked out what he meant by this BUT this species always has very dense hairs on the leaves which look very felt-like. The stigma colour appears to be both green and purple in different populations as does variation in the leaf colour. There are similar yellow flowered species and the differences will be described in detail by Paul Egan who will write this section and who has considerable knowledge of them after working on the new Flora of Nepal. All the yellow flowered monocarpic species included under the previous picture have various degrees of leaf lobing, varying from very divided fern like to more rounded and less deeply incised lobing. There are two species in the evergreen monocarpic series that have totally undivided leaves. The above is M. superba with silver rosettes and white flowers with a prominent almost black/purple stigma. They are slow growing and may take 5 years to flower. The other species with whole leaves is M. regia. This has yellow flowers and a purple stigma. It has not been in cultivation for many years. One does get look-alike throw backs in M. 'napaulensis' almost certianly M. regia was involved in this hybrid swarm. It is not however to my knowledge in cultivation.
M. superba. This is white flowered though looking yellow in this image. M. regia would be a deep yellow. This is only Meconopsis that is consistently self fertile though others may be. There will always be albino forms of other species (one has been reported in a population of M. paniculata) but all of these will have divided foliage.