Himalayan Blue Poppy

Meconopsis betonicifolia – Himalayan Blue Poppy

A few blue poppies in the woodland margins at Kew, something seen out of the corner of my eye, deserving closer inspection (I was on the hunt for peony and rose).

Meconopsis have a reputation for being difficult, in warmer latitudes especially –  the various species grow best in areas with damp, cool summers (hah!) – requiring humus-rich, leafy, moist but well-drained, neutral-to-acid soil, open enough to prevent stagnation and rot in winter. Site in partial shade with shelter from cold, drying winds. Mulch generously, and water in dry spells in summer. Picky, eh?

This particular variety is less likely to be monocarpic (dying after setting seed) in moist conditions, and if flowering is prevented until several crowns have been formed, though it will be a short-lived perennial at that. Nevertheless a worthy pursuit for the woodland garden.

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