Saturday, 18 May 2013

This is the first blue poppy to flower this year and in the garden of my daughter at Invergowrie in Tayside, Scotland. It is, appropriately enough, one of my Kingsbarns Hybrids and has the same origin as Lingholm where a clone of the sterile hybrid x. sheldonii became tetraploid (ie 4 sets of chromosomes). 

The original x sheldonii hybrids - of which there are some number - were crosses between M. betonicifolia and M. grandis which have different chromosome numbers and were always sterile. The tetraploid crosses therefore have 2 sets of chromosomes from each parent which can thus divide normally and produce viable seed.