Fine Art

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Ordo: Ranunculales

Familia: Papaveraceae
Subfamilia: Papaveroideae
Tribus: Papavereae
Genus: Meconopsis
Subgenera: M. subg. Cumminsia – M. subg. Discogyne – M. subg. Grandes – M. subg. Meconopsis

Species: M. aculeata – M. aprica – M. argemonantha – M. atrovinosa – M. barbiseta – M. betonicifolia – M. biloba – M. brachynema – M. cambrica – M. chelidoniifolia – M. concinna – M. delavayi – M. discigera – M. florindae – M. forrestii – M. georgei – M. gracilipes – M. grandis – M. henrici – M. horridula – M. impedita – M. integrifolia – M. lancifolia – M. lyrata – M. oliveriana – M. paniculata – M. pinnatifolia – M. pleurogyna – M. prattii – M. primulina – M. pseudohorridula – M. pseudointegrifolia – M. pseudovenusta – M. punicea – M. purpurea – M. quintuplinervia – M. racemosa – M. rudis – M. simplicifolia – M. sinomaculata – M. smithiana – M. speciosa – M. superba – M. tibetica – M. torquata – M. uniflora – M. venusta – M. violacea – M. wanbaensis – M. wengdaensis – M. wilsonii – M. wumungensis – M. zangnanensis

Meconopsis Vig., Hist. Nat. Pavots: 48. 1814.

Type species: Meconopsis regia G.Taylor, typ. cons.


Cerastites S.F.Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. 2: 703. 1 Nov 1821.
Cathcartia Hook. f., Bot. Mag. 77: t. 4596. 1851.
Type species: Cathcartia villosa Hook.f.

Note: The synonymy of this genus with Papaver is not universally accepted, for example Govaerts et al. (2020) cf. Hassler (2020)

Viguier, L.G.A. 1814. Hist. Nat. Pavots Argémones 48.
Grey-Wilson, C. 2012. (2061) Proposal to conserve the name Meconopsis (Papaveraceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 61(2): 473–474. DOI: 10.1002/tax.612026 JSTOR [recommended (Taxon 62: 1318. 2013) and accepted] Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Meconopsis in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Mar. 9. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2020. Meconopsis. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Mar. 9. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Meconopsis. Published online. Accessed: Mar. 9 2020.
Farr, E.R. & Zijlstra, G. (eds.) 1996 onwards. Meconopsis in Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). Accessed: 2009 Nov 09.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Scheinmohne
English: Blue Poppies
suomi: Valeunikot

Meconopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the poppy family Papaveraceae. It was created by French botanist Viguier in 1814 for the species known by the common name Welsh poppy, which Carl Linnaeus had described as Papaver cambricum.[2] The genus name means "poppy-like" (from Greek mekon poppy, opsis alike). Himalayan species discovered later were also placed in Meconopsis. In the 21st century, it was discovered that the Himalayan species were less closely related to the Welsh poppy, which has been restored to Papaver. All species now placed in Meconopsis are native to the Himalayas and surrounding regions. They have attractive, usually blue flowers.

The taxonomy of Meconopsis remains unsettled. Although many sources recognize the genus, others sink it into Papaver. There is also uncertainty over the number of species, as many readily hybridise with each other producing 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.

Meconopsis species do not produce opium.


The genus Meconopsis and its species have a complex taxonomic history. A European species was first described in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus as Papaver cambricum,[3] commonly known as the Welsh poppy.[4] It has a style, while all other then described Papaver species lacked one, having only a "stigmatic disc" (i.e. a disc-shaped region on the top of the ovary receptive to pollen). On the basis of this difference, in 1814, Louis Viguier transferred P. cambricum to his new genus Meconopsis as Meconopsis cambrica, then the only species. Later, when mainly blue-flowered poppy-like species with styles like the Welsh poppy were discovered in the Himalayas and neighbouring regions, they were also placed in the genus Meconopsis. However, molecular phylogenetic studies from 1995 onwards showed that the Welsh poppy was not closely related to the Himalayan species, but rather to Papaver species.[5] In 2011, Kadereit et al. proposed that Linnaeus's original name should be restored.[4] However, as Meconopsis cambrica was the type species of the genus Meconopsis, if the Welsh poppy was moved back to Papaver, all the Himalayan species would have to be placed in this genus as well. In 2012, it was proposed that Meconopsis should become a conserved name, with the new type Meconopsis regia.[6] This proposal has been accepted.[1]

Molecular phylogenetic studies have shown that the Old World members of the subfamily Papaveroideae form a monophyletic clade. However, they have sometimes left relationships within this clade unresolved. A 2014 study found that neither Meconopsis nor Papaver were monophyletic. Meconopsis was split into two clades, a large one which the authors called section Eumeconopsis, and a smaller one, Meconopsis sect. Eucathcartia, containing four of the species included in the study.[5]

Clade I – Meconopsis section Eumeconopsis – most Meconopsis species

Clade II – Papaver section Meconella

Clade III – Papaver section Argemonidium plus Roemeria

Clade IV – remaining Papaver species, including P. cambricum, plus Stylomecon

Clade V – Meconopsis sect. Eucathcartia – four species in the study

An alternative cladogram resolves Clade III as the sister of Clades I and II. It was suggested that the generic name Meconopsis should be retained for Clade I, and Clade V should be treated as the genus Cathcartia.[5] This would still leave Papaver non-monophyletic. An alternative approach, adopted by Plants of the World Online, is to sink Meconopsis, Roemeria, Stylomecon and Cathcartia into Papaver.[7]

In 2017, Xiao and Simpson raised Meconopsis sect. Eucathcartia (Clade V) to the genus Cathcartia. On the basis of a further molecular phylogenetic study they divided Meconopsis into four sections.[8]

Meconopsis sect. Meconopsis

Meconopsis autumnalis P.A.Egan
Meconopsis chankheliensis Grey-Wilson
Meconopsis dhwojii G.Taylor
Meconopsis discigera Prain
Meconopsis ganeshensis Grey-Wilson
Meconopsis gracilipes G.Taylor
Meconopsis manasluensis P A.Egan
Meconopsis napaulensis DC.
Meconopsis paniculata Prain
Meconopsis pinnatifolia C.Y.Wu & H.Chuang ex L.H.Zhou
Meconopsis regia G.Taylor
Meconopsis robusta Hook.f. & Thomson
Meconopsis simikotensis Grey-Wilson
Meconopsis staintonii Grey-Wilson
Meconopsis superba King ex Prain
Meconopsis taylorii L.H.J.Williams
Meconopsis tibetica Grey-Wilson
Meconopsis torquata Prain
Meconopsis violacea Kingdon-Ward
Meconopsis wallichii Hook.
Meconopsis wilsonii Grey-Wilson

Meconopsis sect. Aculeatae Fedde

Meconopsis aculeata Royle
Meconopsis bikramii Aswal (doubtfully placed here)
Meconopsis concinna Prain
Meconopsis delavayi Franch. Ex Prain
Meconopsis forrestii Prain
Meconopsis georgei G.Taylor
Meconopsis henrici Bureau & Franch.
Meconopsis horridula Hook.f. & Thomson
Meconopsis impedita Prain
Meconopsis lancifolia Franch.
Meconopsis latifolia Prain
Meconopsis muscicola Tosh.Yoshida, H.Sun & Boufford
Meconopsis neglecta G.Taylor
Meconopsis pseudovenusta G.Taylor
Meconopsis pulchela Tosh.Yoshida, H.Sun & Bouford
Meconopsis venusta Prain
Meconopsis yaoshanensis Tosh.Yoshida, H.Sun & Boufford

Meconopsis sect. Primulinae Fedde

Meconopsis argemonantha Prain
Meconopsis bella Prain
Meconopsis florindae Kingdon-Ward
Meconopsis lyrata (H.A.Cummins & Prain) Fedde
Meconopsis primulina Prain
Meconopsis sinuata Prain
Meconopsis wumungensis K.M.Feng
Meconopsis zang-nanensis L.H.Zhou

Meconopsis sect. Grandes Fedde

Meconopsis betonicifolia Franch.
Meconopsis biloba L.Z.An, Shu Y.Chen & Y.S.Lian
Meconopsis grandis Prain
Meconopsis integrifolia (Maxim.) Franch.
Meconopsis punicea Maxim.
Meconopsis quintuplinervia Regel
Meconopsis simplicifolia (D.Don) Walp.
Meconopsis sherriffii G.Taylor

A further species was described after Xiao and Simpson's classification:[9]

Meconopsis gakyidiana Tosh.Yoshida, Yangzom & D.G.Long

Xiao and Simpson placed four former Meconopsis species in the genus Cathcartia:[8]

Cathcartia chelidonifolia (Bureau & Franch.) Grey-Wilson = Meconopsis chelidoniifolia Bureau & Franch.
Cathcartia oliveriana (Franch. ex Prain) Grey-Wilson = Meconopsis oliveriana Franch. ex Prain
Cathcartia smithiana Hand.-Mazz. = Meconopsis smithiana (Hand.-Mazz.) G.Taylor ex Hand.-Mazz.
Cathcartia villosa Hook.f. = Meconopsis villosa (Hook.f.) G.Taylor


Himalayan varieties have the reputation for being difficult to grow from seed, but when germinating new plants, using fresh seeds will help . These plants[clarification needed] are available in a variety of strong colours, including blue, red, orange, purple, white and yellow depending on species and cultivar.

All meconopsis require an acid or neutral soil pH, in a partially shaded sheltered position.

The following cultivars, of mixed or uncertain heritage, have won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

'Bobby Masterton' (Infertile Blue Group)[10]
'Dalemain' (George Sherriff Group)[11]
'Mop-Head' (Fertile Blue Group)[14]
'Mrs Jebb' (Infertile Blue Group)[15]
'P.C. Abildgaard' (Infertile Blue Group)[16]
'Slieve Donard' (Infertile Blue Group)[17]
'Susan's Reward' (George Sherriff Group)[18]

Pests and diseases

In the United Kingdom, Meconopsis has been affected by the invasive golden root mealybug.[19] Damping off may occur on seedling grown plants.[20]

"Meconopsis Vig.". The International Plant Names Index. Retrieved 2021-01-31.
Viguier, L.G.A. (1814). Histoire Naturelle, médicale et économique des Pavots et des Argémones (D.Med. thesis) (in French and Latin). University of Montpellier. Retrieved 2021-02-02. pp. 48–49.
"Papaver cambricum L." The International Plant Names Index. Retrieved 2021-01-31.
Kadereit, Joachim W.; Preston, Chris D. & Valtueña, Francisco J. (2011). "Is Welsh Poppy, Meconopsis cambrica (L.) Vig. (Papaveraceae), truly a Meconopsis?". New Journal of Botany. 1 (2): 80–88. doi:10.1179/204234811X13194453002742. S2CID 84167424.
Liu, Yu-Cheng; Liu, Ya-Nan; Yang, Fu-Sheng & Wang, Xiao-Quan (2014). "Molecular Phylogeny of Asian Meconopsis Based on Nuclear Ribosomal and Chloroplast DNA Sequence Data". PLOS ONE. 9 (8): e104823. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104823. PMC 4130606. PMID 25118100.
Grey-Wilson, Christopher (2012). "Proposal to conserve the name Meconopsis (Papaveraceae) with a conserved type". Taxon. 61 (2): 473–474. doi:10.1002/tax.612026.
"Papaver L." Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
Xiao, Wei & Simpson, Beryl B. (2017). "A New Infrageneric Classification of Meconopsis (Papaveraceae) Based on a Well-supported Molecular Phylogeny". Systematic Botany. 42 (2): 226–233. doi:10.1600/036364417X695466. S2CID 91152469.
Yangzom, Rinchen; Long, David; Yoshida, Toshio (2017-01-17). "Dancing Butterflies of the East Himalayas New Meconopsis Species from East Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh and South Tibet". Sibbaldia: The International Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture (14): 69–96. doi:10.24823/Sibbaldia.2016.193.
"Meconopsis 'Bobby Masterton' (Infertile Blue Group)". RHS. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
"Meconopsis 'Dalemain' (George SHerriff Group)". RHS. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
"Meconopsis 'Keillour'". RHS. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
"Meconopsis 'Marit'". RHS. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
"Meconopsis 'Mop-Head' (Fertile Blue Group)". RHS. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
"Meconopsis 'Mrs Jebb' (Infertile Blue Group)". RHS. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
"Meconopsis 'P.C. Abildgaard' (Infertile Blue Group)". RHS. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
"Meconopsis 'Slieve Donard' (Infertile Blue Group)". RHS. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
"Meconopsis 'Susan's Reward' (George Sherriff Group)". RHS. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
Malumphy, Chris; Stevens, Evelyn; Williams, Douglas J (2014). "First European record of Chryseococcus arecae (Maskell) (Hemiptera: Stemorrhyncha, Pseudococcidae), a hypogeal mealybug pest of ornamental plants". Entomologist's Gazette. 65: 30–36. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
"Meconopsis". Royal Horticultural Society. Royal Horticultural Society. 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.

Plants, Fine Art Prints

Plants Images

Biology Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Home - Hellenica World