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      News and Diary Dates

Notification for the next meeting of the Meconopsis Group on 17th October, 2015 at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

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The Meconopsis Group is in the process of producing a book with the AGS on Meconopsis and its cultivars, the final title has not yet been decided. This will complement Chris Grey-Wilsons book on the monograph of Meconopsis. We are looking to members to send in any images they have of Meconopsis species or cultivars grown in cultivation only. Can you please send images to John Mitchell at j.mitchell@rbge.org.uk.  All images will be credited to the photographer.  We would like information on where it was taken and a rough year if possible. We are aiming to have the book published in 2016 at Chelsea and Gardening Scotland. The dead line for images is December 2015.

Meconopsis has been a popular genus with gardeners for more than a century, ever since its introduction into western gardens from the Far East. But in recent years, problems of identification and naming have arisen due to hybridisation amongst the various species growing close together in gardens. The Meconopsis Group was founded in 1998 to try to resolve the confusion. This particularly applied to the popularly styled "Himalayan blue poppies". So the initial remit was to clarify the identities and nomenclature of the many forms of big perennial blue poppies found in cultivation.

In addition to this initial taxonomic work, The Meconopsis Group is interested in promoting and working on all other matters relating to the genus. Important topics include how to grow and propagate Meconopsis.species and hybrids in cultivation and the study of the species in the wild, including their taxonomy, distribution and ecology. These studies, of course, have important conservation implications.

This currently stands at well over 150 with most from the British Isles, but also from Europe and as far away as Canada, Japan and Australia. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Meconopsis. Study meetings are held twice a year at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Naming recommendations made by the identification assessment committee are confirmed by the members at these meetings. All members of the group receive full reports of the meetings which are also made available to them online in the restricted members' area. They may also participate in our annual seed exchange and attend occasional meetings in gardens noted for their Meconopsis.

The Meconopsis Group is affiliated to the Scottish Rock Garden Club and it enjoys the active support of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.


Examples of the beautiful plants found within the genus Meconopsis


        M. x cookei ‘Old Rose’

              M. grandis ‘Himal Sky’

              M. integrifolia

M. tibetica in Tibet

M. ‘Barney's Blue’

M. ‘Marit’

M. ‘P.C. Abildgaard ’

M. ‘Mop-head’

M. baileyi ‘Hensol Violet’

M. punicea

We have prepared a number of fact-sheets on the more readily available cultivars, with one or two cultivars dealt with on each sheet. The sheets are in pdf format for viewing and printing and each comprises colour pictures, together with some background information and guidance on cultivation. We plan to add further fact-sheets as time permits. For a list with download links, please click here.

Accuracy of pictures
For Meconopsis enthusiasts, the various forms of big perennial blue poppies are usually readily enough recognised when seen growing in the garden. But obtaining faithful photographic images is quite difficult. As a result, published pictures are often not very helpful or even misleading. With this in mind, every effort is made in this website to use only pictures which give true portrayals. However, it should be noted that the precise colours are not very stable in many of these flowers. Thus, variation in colour is a significant feature, and is discussed in some detail in a supplementary page Colour range within the Meconopsis genus.

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