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Messages - Peter Kohn

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Identification issues / Re: Mec Identification
« on: February 19, 2018, 09:53:42 AM »
This variation matches the variation I got with the batch of M. baileyi seeds that came from the Mec Group seed exchange in, I think, 2014 and was the batch from which 'Sue's Violet' was selected. There were some very good white forms in that mix and varying shades of blue.

Identification issues / Re: Mec Identification
« on: February 16, 2018, 05:13:33 PM »
Only just seen your purple (violet, pinky-violet ?) M. baileyi. It looks very similar to what I have been growing as 'Sue's Violet' which clearly differs from 'Hensol Violet' but seems to come true from seed (so far !)

Identification issues / Re: CCX1519
« on: February 16, 2018, 05:05:26 PM »
Where are you gardening ?  Like Margaret I am impressed at how well your plants look in an open situation alongside the lettuce !  Are you somewhere with cool summers ?

Growing / Re: Meconopsis in the beer fridge
« on: February 02, 2018, 05:41:57 PM »
Maybe you could adapt the technique we saw used in Saudi Arabia to grow tomatoes and roses. The polytunnels were cooled by water dripping over a fine mesh with a fan blowing over it. Evaporation gives both cooling and high humidity and if your polytunnel is a shade tunnel it might just work. You could miniaturise this approach I guess ?

Seeds and germination issues / Re: Cold and Germination
« on: January 30, 2018, 10:20:20 PM »
Absolutely agree with the desirability of letting the seedlings develop slowly although our germinated seedlings are now in the frost-free but otherwise unheated conservatory and moving along nicely.  Far too many germinations of one (nominally M. staintonii 'lemon-yellow') so pricking out will be tricky and needs tackling soon. They will then be moved to the big greenhouse in the Botanic Gardens (again unheated and now quite shaded at this time of year.

Seeds and germination issues / Cold and Germination
« on: January 27, 2018, 09:37:50 AM »
i find it interesting that two seeds collected in 2015 which failed to germinate last year have germinated successfully this year. Both times sowing was in mid-November. I have also had good germinations this year of other species sown at the same time. This year we have had some colder nights than in any year since I started to experiment with November sowings. My overall experience is that I succeed best when I avoid heat and i am wondering if there is a case for a spell in the fridge to break dormancy.  Does anyone use this approach ? Scottish members may get colder winters than we have had recently in Sheffield so may not find it necessary.

Species / Re: Meconopsis staintonii
« on: January 18, 2018, 01:24:38 PM »
Thanks for confirming that the great height of Ian's flowering stem is well within expected limits. Yes, I think the general consensus seems to be that the plants at Cluny are probably hybrids. I must admit that I also wonder about the seedlings from Ian's big stem as there does appear to be some variability in the leaf form. There actually seems to be more uniformity among the progeny from the Cluny  'lemon-yellow' seeds. At this stage it is maybe to early to draw firm conclusions as only a single plant of 'albiflora' has flowered to date and none of the Cluny plants. Whatever the genetics of 'lemon-yellow' the viability of the seed is terrific in a second season and 'albiflora' has now germinated fairly well third time round.

My memory of our wallichii plants at Kerrachar is that they were typically about two metres tall. Other monocarpic rosette formers (probably all what Chris Grey-Wilson would call x complexa) were a similar height.

Growing / Re: First seed germinated 2018
« on: January 17, 2018, 05:16:54 PM »
Could be. Don't usually get this problem.  What temperature are you keeping your seedlings at ?

Species / Re: Meconopsis staintonii
« on: January 17, 2018, 08:26:28 AM »
Margaret, how tall were these plants. The plant Ian Scott brought to the October 2015 meeting of the Meconopsis Group was eight or ten feet tall as I remember. Have a few more seedlings already germinated this year but only one of the original plants germinated two years ago has flowered so far. It certainly closely resembled the pictures of the white forms you have posted.

Growing / Re: First seed germinated 2018
« on: January 16, 2018, 12:34:27 PM »
I can add that M. 'Lingholm' sown 11th November has now germinated. Interestingly, Ian Scot's M. staintonii albiflora seeds gave good germination in the first year, failed last year but have germinated reasonably this year.

Growing / Re: First seed germinated 2018
« on: January 15, 2018, 08:31:29 AM »
I too tried quite a lot of sowings in November (including a number that had failed last year and are probably not viable). The most rapid germination was seed obtained last year from Cluny as 'M.staintonii (lemon yellow)'. This germinated freely in 2017 and has done every bit as well second time round. Sown on November 5th and germinated on December 23rd. I also spotted a few seedlings from 'M. napaulensis' (this year's Plant World seeds). The only other germinations so far, spotted on 11th January, were M. staintonii albiflora (2015 seed from Ian Scott, M. wallichii (Plant World 17),  M.napaulensis (ice blue) and M.napaulensis (true species). All of these are in small numbers with the best numbers from the old seed of M staintonii albiflora.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Chinese Alpines formerly
« on: January 09, 2018, 06:05:16 PM »
Mine arrived today too. Prices are up quite a bit. Not sure how much this is down to the weak pound.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Chinese Alpines formerly
« on: December 03, 2017, 09:04:05 AM »
I have bought seeds from the Bjornar Olsen when he sold as  My experience was that germination was better than with seeds from the Meconopsis Group seed list and quite generous amounts. M. integrifolia seed collected in 2014 was still germinating well in 2017.
As Bjornar is still involved I can only assume that the seed will remain reliable.

General Meconopsis Forum / Chinese Alpines formerly
« on: December 01, 2017, 03:29:43 PM »
Discovered today that the new seed list is now on line at

Some very pricey items but quite a lot of Meconopsis.

General Meconopsis Forum / Wikipedia entry on Meconopsis Genus
« on: November 23, 2017, 08:37:27 AM »
Following up on checking the entry on Meconopsis cambrica I checked the Wikipedia entry for Meconopsis which could do with being updated. Should the group nominate someone to do this ? Perhaps Jim Jermyn or Geoff Hill ?

General Meconopsis Forum / Meconopsis cambrica
« on: November 23, 2017, 08:32:24 AM »
I checked this morning about the current status of the name Meconopsis cambrica. Both the Plant List and the Plant Finder have now changed the name to Papaver cambricum and I have this morning added a line to that effect to the Wikipedia entry. Maybe someone with more taxonomic knowhow than I have could check that what I have written is acceptable. Where does the group stand on the name for this species. Do we still prefer Parameconopsis cambrica ?

General Meconopsis Forum / MGS#1
« on: November 20, 2017, 01:02:12 PM »
This form of M. baileyi was offered on the seed list this year. Only got very tiny amount of germination but the plants have grown on well and right now they are still in reasonably full leaf when normal forms of M. baileyi and also 'Lingholm' have gone right back. Ian Scott has no further information so I wonder whether anyone else in the group knows anything more about this plant. Could it actually be a hybrid ?

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Thompso and Morgan
« on: November 05, 2017, 03:38:29 PM »
I'll have a go at that unless it would be better coming formally from the group. Gardener's World were pretty misleading about how to grow meconopsis but they did take down the offending clip after we complained.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Thompso and Morgan
« on: October 22, 2017, 05:10:46 PM »
I have to agree about T&M seeds (generally, not just meconopsis). When we first started to develop the garden at Kerrachar almost everything was grown from seed. We learned to accept that not everything germinated with our one size fits all approach but with most sources of seed we expected 70% germination. (These days we expect quite a bit  better with seed we have collected ourselves but I suspect we have largely selected things that we initially grew from seed anyway). With T&M our success rate was only 30% and after a couple of years they were dropped as a supplier. That was 20 years ago. Hopefully they have improved.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Thompso and Morgan
« on: October 11, 2017, 08:24:19 AM »
Sounds sensible though I suspect they are more concerned with using names that are most successful commercially rather than scientifically accurate. I cringe whenever I see Incarvilleas described as 'hardy gloxinias' but there is little chance of reversing this useage and getting the horticulture industry to use baileyi rather than betonicifolia will be very difficult.

General Meconopsis Forum / Thompso and Morgan
« on: October 08, 2017, 08:31:13 AM »
I was interested to see that T&M are offering 'Luxurious Designer Poppies' in their Meconopsis 'Union Jack' Collection. One plant each of (Meconopsis betonicifolia, Meconopsis Napaulensis, Meconopsis betonicifolia 'Alba') in 7cm pots for £9.99 reduced from £35.97.

This raises a number of questions.  How can they be sure that the white plant is white ? (Our seed-raised plants from M. baileyi alba have a high proportion of blue progeny).  Are they raised by tissue culture ?  Does this explain why the plants are so small ?  And being so small, will they survive the winter ?   We have always followed James Cobb's advice, given more than twenty years ago and tried to build up large strong plants before winter. We will be selling our large, multi-crowned M. baileyi plants in 2 litre pots at our final plant sale in Sheffield Botanic Gardens this afternoon (for £5). What do others think ?

Species / Re: Meconopsis staintonii
« on: September 09, 2017, 08:10:35 AM »
My flowering plant was actually (almost) pure white and the seed capsules were still not yet ready to harvest so cannot comment on the seed yet. Several other plants are still at the rosette stage and look not unlike the 'M. staintonii' grown from Cluny seed this year (this was the 'lemon yellow' form - I didn't get germination from 'pinky red' or from Ian's ex CC second time round).  I have to say that both Ian and |\\john's seed progeny have made very spectacular rosettes so far.  I have had a lot of losses from plants in the napaulensis (hort) and paniculata group with plants in pots here in Sheffield so I am hoping for better luck with plants in the ground.

Growing / Re: Growing Meconopsis
« on: August 27, 2017, 12:01:02 PM »
I wonder whether the plants at Holehird were seedlings from the M staintonii albiflorum which Ian brought to the October 15 meeting.
Pat Murphy would know.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Meconopsis for Gardeners
« on: July 29, 2017, 09:26:08 AM »
Have now received my free copy and am spend time in the local University Library studying it.  Found the odd problem (picture of baileyi and Lingholm seed labelled back to front for example) and I still don't know how many species there are as different numbers appear in different chapters but there is so much description of what conditions various species enjoy in the wild that it makes me wonder why we ever succeed with any of them in the UK but also helps think about what might might be the best situations to try with more knowledge. Anyway, super book.

Seeds and germination issues / Adenophora nikoensis var linearifolia
« on: June 25, 2017, 09:15:48 AM »
Apologies for posting this here but I obtained seed under this name from this year's Meconopsis Group seed distibution.  We had good germination but the resultant plants do not have the narrow leaves we expected. If the member who sent the seed to Ian reads this, please could you tell us more about the parent plant.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Golden root mealybug
« on: June 18, 2017, 09:23:50 AM »
Many thanks for the information. Will be vigilant and also careful not to buy in any meconopsis !

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Meconopsis for Gardeners
« on: June 18, 2017, 09:02:32 AM »
Many thanks for the reassurance.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Growing in Pots
« on: June 17, 2017, 04:12:11 PM »
We find even the 'big blue poppies' go through winter nearly 100% successfully in pots but lose a lot in the ground in the Sheffield climate. At Kerrachar we also lost plants in pots if they were in the polytunnel but they were fine outside so we contimue to keep them outdoors in Sheffield. No fancy composts, just a mixture of multipurpose and JI 3 plus slow release feed. This also seems to work OK for smaller mecs such as zhongdianensis and aculeata.

General Meconopsis Forum / Meconopsis for Gardeners
« on: June 17, 2017, 04:03:21 PM »
Am dithering about buying a copy as I was told that I might get a free copy as a contributor. Does any other contributor know anything about this ?

General Meconopsis Forum / Golden root mealybug
« on: June 17, 2017, 03:56:31 PM »
Just seen a post on the SRGC forum by Alan Elliott who apparently ran a Meconopsis Workshop at RBGE today. He was drawing attention to this as a potentially devastating pest, Has anyone had problems with this ?  How easy are they to spot ?  Any obvious early symptoms ?  Worrying and would like to know more.

Growing / Re: First seed germinated 2017
« on: June 12, 2017, 01:18:48 PM »
I wonder whether you would be better with a smaller grain of grit ?  We used to use grit off our beach when we were at Kerrachar (after washing off the salt and seaweed).  These days we use Flint Chick Grit which is excellent after sieving off any sand.

P.S. Just noticed that Nick has flowered BVH42 successfully (separate post). Good to see what we are missing !

I have found M. paniculata BVH 42 really tricky. A nice healthy big mature plant which I added to the Meconopsis Glade in Sheffield Botanic Garden has collapsed in much the way shown in your picture (only more so) and it was the sole survivor. Other  seedlings had collapsed earlier. It seems to be much more temperamental than, say seedlings from Ian Scott's 'M. staintonii albiflora which are thriving in the same glade.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Gardener's World on-line Videos
« on: June 02, 2017, 05:43:08 PM »
I have made a complaint on the Gardeners World website and will send a letter as well. Don't expect it to get anywhere near Monty Don but hopefully there is some editorial control somewhere. Meconopsis are easy to grow in NW Sutherland, slightly more tricky in Sheffield !

General Meconopsis Forum / Gardener's World on-line Videos
« on: June 01, 2017, 01:01:52 PM »
Checking up on availability of the new Meconpsis for Gardeners book, I came across Monty Don's videos on sowing Meconopsis 'Lingholm' seeds and planting the plants he raised. Has anyone else seen them ?  I was shocked by what. to me. were serious inaccuracies. He insisted on sowing Meconopsis seed fresh which may be necessary for some species but certainly not for Lingholm which most of us sow in January/February and get good germination. Properly stored seeds will germinate fine in the second year and well beyond. 

As he apparently didn't go in for early pricking out and potting on his one year old seedlings and the plants he eventually planted after two years looked starved and were much smaller than one would expect - I would expect to have plants the size he was planting by June or July in the year of sowing.

Has anybody given him any advice or feedback ?  Because he is a 'celebrity' I imagine it isn't easy but if no-one else has done so, I will have a try.

Species / Re: Meconopsis staintonii
« on: May 25, 2017, 01:53:54 PM »
My seedlings grown from Ian's seedhead stem brought to the October 2015 meeting are clearly not M. wallichii but they vary subtly so suspect they are also now hybrids.

Species / Re: Meconopsis pseudointegrifolia
« on: May 25, 2017, 01:50:56 PM »
Haven't flowered my sole survivor grown as M.pseudointegrifolia yet but the leaves look very similar to yours and noriceably different from what I am growing as M. integrifolia,

Growing / Re: Meconopsis baileyi ex Doshog La
« on: May 09, 2017, 08:12:14 AM »
I'm still not certain about whether there is any real difference with the wild collected plants. all the different baileyi seeds sown this year seem to have done well - unusually for me, better than 'Lingholm'. My personal approach is to'allow nature to take its course'.  Seed is sown earl (usually January) and seeds are kept outside in a little plastic greenhouse against a shady wall so that I can controlwatering but exposed to natural temperature fluctuations. This year all the baileyi seeds germinated in late February.

Growing / Meconopsis baileyi ex Doshog La
« on: April 21, 2017, 06:45:53 PM »
Just inspected the seedlings in the nursery and noticed that the seedlings of the wild collected M. baileyi appear to have grown faster than seedlings from my own plants and to have rounder true leaves. Has anyone else noticed that this strain of M. baileyi is beginning to look a little different from existing forms

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Meconopsis Group numbering system
« on: April 20, 2017, 10:24:02 AM »
Many thanks for the information, Poppy Girl. Pat Murphy has given me a piece of this plant to nurture but I had forgotten its detailed antecedents. In general, my query was whether the whole list of Evelyn's is accessible to members of the group. I'll post a picture of the current state of my MG100 separately.

General Meconopsis Forum / Meconopsis Group numbering system
« on: April 15, 2017, 05:03:15 PM »
Does anyone know how to access the numbering system used by the group ?  Would like to read more about MG100 for a start.

Growing / Re: First seed germinated 2017
« on: March 31, 2017, 05:31:27 PM »
I would be interested to know what success rate Alan gets sowing so late. I have only once sown later than mid-February and that was the species for which I am acting as 'guardian' (M. simplicifolia var grandiflora) which I didn't sow until 18th March last year. I got about 25% germination, much to my relief as most of my Mec Group seeds failed last year and I had been very impressed by the trials done by Geoff Hurst (I think) showing much better germination for many species bysowing in October with germination success falling off rapidly by DEcember/January.

I checked with Bjornar and he confirms they were collected in different locations.

Has anyone else grown integrifolia seed from Bjornar. I had seed collected in 2014 which germinated very rapidly. Some seed was kept back and sown again this year. Again it germinated rapidly. I also had fresh seed collected in 2015 which failed to germinate at the usual time but I hung on to the pot and do now have a couple of seedlings. The same seed sown this year at the same time as the 2014 seed has again failed to germinate. I am wondering now whether they are actually the same species.  Does anyone else  share my experience ?

Species / Meconopsis staintonii
« on: February 21, 2017, 08:48:05 AM »
I notice that the Plant List still regards this name as 'unresolved'. Has any work been done on the DNA ?  It seems that the white form grows much taller than other colour forms. This year I have sown four different colour forms, twofrom Cluny seed plus my own red form which was only about 90cm tall and seed from Ian Scott's albiflorum (very tall). Only the lemon yellow form has germinated so far. Might the different colour forms potentially be separable ?

Seeds and germination issues / Re: Stratification of seed.
« on: February 13, 2017, 08:55:53 AM »
Have to agree with everything Alan says. We usually sow in January though now experiment with November sowings for the big rosette forming monocarpic species. This year have had a few early germinations from November sowings but most germination is in March. This is with seed trays left outside in a 'wall multitiered greenhouse'. I am bringing spare M. balangensis seedlings to the March meeting but generally spare seedlings would have to be exchanged in October (by which time they ought to be pretty large plants).

Species / Re: Meconopsis balangensis
« on: February 08, 2017, 09:39:22 AM »
I have pricked out 28 seedlings this morning (mostly in fours) and hope to be able to bring them to the next meeting on March 4th so hopefully someone will give them a good home.

Growing / Re: First seed germinated 2017
« on: January 29, 2017, 01:28:49 PM »
Like Alice, I sowed some of our meconopsis seeds in late November, also in an unheated 'wall greenhouse'.  I have already had four germinations some time ago. M. balangensis appeared on 31st December closely followed by the mysterious 'M. baileyi x latifolia' on january 1st, M.integifolia on the 4th M. zhongdianensis on the 5th. Interestingly, all of these seeds came from annd were from the 2015 collection (2014 fro the M. integrifolia). All the seeds from Bjornar have been viable though I haven't necessarily been anle to raise plants to maturity so hope I can do better this time.

Identification issues / Re: Meconopsis 'Jim's Ex'
« on: January 20, 2017, 01:40:39 PM »
Many thanks for the advice. As I have more than enough plants of known provenance I think I had better discard these. I'm still intrigued that  I got germination now though one of my fellow volunteers at Sheffield Botanic Gardens did have a similar experience with a violet M. baileyi (which for me germinated at the normal time - March in the year of sowing).

Identification issues / Meconopsis 'Jim's Ex'
« on: January 19, 2017, 04:33:38 PM »
Offered by the SRGC seed exchange last year. Bizarrely a couple of seeds have just germinated from a sowing last January. Never had a blue meconopsis wait a year before.  Does anyone know any more about this one ?

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