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Meconopsis

Papaveraceae
Deciduous, Perennials

Ardent collectors and shade-garden enthusiasts sometimes attempt the many species offered by specialist seed firms. Most of these herbaceous perennials are difficult to grow, but M. betonicifolia is not too trying if given loose, acid soil and cool, humid, shady conditions. Protect seaside plantings from wind.

Plants consist of foliage rosettes with elongated leaves that vary in shape from undivided to lobed or cut; these foliage clumps send up flowering stems at bloom time. Blossoms are large and brilliantly colored. Plants self-sow without becoming invasive. Most of these plants are native to the Himalayas.

Meconopsis betonicifolia
Meconopsis betonicifolia

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Meconopsis betonicifolia

In perfect conditions, this plant can reach 6 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide. Abundant hairy leaves with serrated edges; silky, 3–4-in., sky blue poppies with yellow stamens. In less favorable locales, it is a much squatter, shorter-lived plant with smaller flowers verging on mauve. Blooms in late spring or early summer.

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