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MECONOPSIS betonicifolia

Image of Meconopsis betonicifolia

Jessie Keith

Family

Papaveraceae

Botanical Name

MECONOPSIS betonicifolia

Plant Common Name

Himalayan Blue Poppy

General Description

One of the renowned blue poppies, which make an astonishing display in cool, moist gardens, Meconopsis betonicifolia is native to the eastern Himalyas. In early summer large, nodding to horizontal, poppy-like flowers appear at the tips and in the axils of leafy stems that may reach head-high. Although they may be a luminous clear sky-blue, in some forms they are of rosy hue. A central boss of yellow-anthered stamens ornaments the four-petaled flowers. Oblong seed capsules follow the blooms. The long, narrowly oval leaves have coarse teeth, rust-colored hairs, and a blunt base. Basal leaves are stalked; upper leaves are smaller and clasp the stem. The leaves wither away in fall. Plants are usually long-lived but may die after flowering. Blue-flowered forms provide an awe-inspiring early summer display in gardens that can meet their rather exacting needs. Look for blue-flowered selections and for hybrids with M. grandis, which usually go under the name M. × sheldonii.

Asian Meconopsis need cool summers and chilly winters, doing best in dappled shade and moist humus-rich soil. Blue forms are bluest in acidic soil. These plants perish in hot or dry climates. A loose airy winter mulch may be beneficial. A massed planting is unforgettable, especially in the company of other moisture-lovers such as Japanese primroses.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    5 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 17

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Width

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Blue, Rose

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes