February 8, 2023
Meconopsis baileyi

Meconopsis baileyi

Meconopsis baileyi, Meconopsis betonicifolia, Himalayan Blue Poppy, or Bailey’s Himalayan Blue Poppy is a clump-forming perennial but short-lived. It is native to Tibet and it is part of the Papaveraceae family of plants. Meconopsis baileyi was named in 1912 by Frederick Marshman Bailey (1882-1967), a British intelligence officer. He was also an explorer and photographer, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He was also a butterfly collector and 2000 of his bird specimens were given to the Natural History Museum.

Meconopsis baileyi
Meconopsis baileyi

Meconopsis baileyi forms a rosette of leaves and can grow to about 1.2m or 4ft. The blue flowers appear on erect stems in late spring or early summer. The flowers are about 10cm or 4in width. It has a prominent yellow center with stamens. The flowers are identical to poppy flowers however the seedheads are different Meconopsis baileyi seedheads are thin and long.

How to grow Meconopsis baileyi:

Grow Meconopsis baileyi in partial shade. Plant it in slightly acid or neutral soil that is humus-rich, moist, and well-drained. Cool damp summers are ideal for this plant. Propagate from seed or division. Plant seeds from March to May. Cut it down all the way to the base in late autumn. Watch out for slugs and snails and downy mildew. It attracts bees and other pollinators.

Meconopsis baileyi
Meconopsis baileyi at Kew Garden

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *