Tuesday, 10 September 2013

This is a plant I photographed today at Branklyn Gardens in Perth (wonderfully tidy and still full of colour). It is named as Sichuan Silk. It was shown this year at Chelsea as a perennial form of Meconopsis punicea. It was apparent among a germination of seeds of this species wild collected in Sichuan and grown by Ian Christie of Kirriemuir. The others from this collection were typical of the species and died after flowering (monocarpic). This plant is certainly not typical and nor is the flower colour. Having said that re-flowering of Meconopsis in autumn does produce non typical flowers. Again we need a genetic analysis of the atypical plants before we can rule out hybridisation. A final  thought, the species M. punicea can be difficult since unless the seed is sown fresh and then the seed trays stored cool and dark to the following spring the percentage germination can be very poor, so a widely available pernennial form, propagated vegetatively, may be very valuable.