Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week Meconopsis Betonicifolia

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Meconopsis betonicifolia (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Meconopsis betonicifolia (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Dappled shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.2m

Eventual Spread: 45cm

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Papaveraceae

Meconopsis betonicifolia is a deciduous herbaceous perennial. Its grey/ green leaves are lanceolate with broadly serrate margins, up to 15cm long and 7cm broad. Its blue terminal flowers have four petals, yellow stamens and are up to 8cm across. Its fruit is an erect green hairy oblong to elliptic pod. Its roots are fleshy rhizomes.

Meconopsis betonicifolia, commonly known as the Himalayan Blue Poppy, Blue Poppy or Himalayan Poppy, is native to the Himalayas. In its native habitat it grows in moist woodland and grassy slopes. Meconopsis betonicifolia is synonymous with Meconopsis baileyi.

The etymological root of the binomial name Meconopsis is derived from the Greek meaning ‘Poppy like’.

The landscape architect may find Meconopsis betonicifolia useful as a part of a woodland understory planting scheme. This plant prefers a shelters location.

Ecologically, Meconopsis betonicifolia is attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Meconopsis betonicifolia their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Meconopsis betonicifolia Flower (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Meconopsis betonicifolia Flower (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Meconopsis betonicifolia prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It prefers a neutral to acid pH of soil. It dislikes dry soils.

Meconopsis betonicifolia requires little maintenance.

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