Meconopsis sp, Chadwell Collection (monocarp)
Meconopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. It was first described by French botanist Viguier in 1814 who named it as poppy-like (from Greek mekon poppy, opsis alike). The species have attractive flowers and have two distinct ranges. A single species, Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh poppy), is indigenous to England, Wales, Ireland, and the fringes of Western Europe, although recent studies suggest that it does not belong in the genus. The other 40 or so (depending on classification) species are found in the Himalayas. Within the Himalayan types there is much debate as to what constitutes a particular species as many readily hybridise with each other and produce viable seed. It is likely that some individually named species are in fact a single species but with an under-appreciated morphological diversity.
A large proportion of species are monocarpic and as such are notoriously difficult to maintain in cultivation.
Photographer: S-A Kallin