Saturday, 11 April 2015

Meconopsis prainiana and also M. prattii. These are the spiny blue poppies related to Meconopsis horridula. Across the whole Himalayan range there must be great variation. They can be perfect azure blue through light blue in one direction and into muddy shades of purple in the other. There are white forms in cultivation too and even suggestions of yellow forms. What is in the seed exchanges is pretty variable and may not always turn out to be a good clear colour form. They are easy from seed and grow on quickly and usually they will flower as a biennial but can take an extra year especially in thin dry soils. With more than one plant they should set plenty of seed even in a poor year. Harvesting the seeds might best be done with gloves since the spines are strong and almost unpleasant to the touch. This plant again should grow anywhere in the U.K., even in hot dry climates, as long as the seedlings are grown with care in more moist controlled situations.