Sep 22, 2009

Himalayan Blue Poppy

Poppy is a kind of plant belonging to the Papaveraceae family. This family is conformed by about 200 species of herbaceous plants, small woody trees and shrubs. Poppies are known for their beautiful flowers, however no true poppy gives blue flowers. Blue poppies come form the Meconopsis genus and they are called poppies because they are alike in many ways.

Himalayan blue poppy.- it’s original name is Meconopsis Betonicifolia. It is native from southeastern Tibet and was discovered in 1886. Although there are many blue poppies the Himalayan blue poppy is probably the best known of all because of it’s beautiful flowers and the fact that they are easier to grow than other blue poppies. They are among the top flowers in the world and for that reason they are very expensive. It is said that this plant has a strong Saturn influence.

Himalayan blue poppy appearance.- This plant forms a rosette of hairy leaves. It grows up to 5 feet high and gets stems that can bear up to 5 flowers each. The flowers are big and come in a deep blue color. When fully grown the petals extend and you can barely notice the cup shape. Usually their stamens and pistils (the center of the flower) are yellow and gives a unique look.

Growing the Himalayan blue poppy.- as many big perennial Meconopsis it grows in partial shade because they require cool summer temperatures. They need a moist, humus rich, well drained soil. The acidity level of the soil is also important for it will have its influence on the color of the flower. They are very easy to grow form seed although they grow very slowly. These plants survive harsh winters if they have the conditions mentioned and they will grow as a perennial plant, so it is recommended to separate them every 2 or 3 years. If it doesn’t it is very likely that it will become monocarpic and only live a year. If you live in a drier area you’ll need to water it daily. This plant will bloom in early and mid summer.

This plant sets a lot of seeds after it blooms and they are used in many baking goods for their sweet, nutty taste. It is amazing that with the amount of seeds this plant gives, now days they are very hard to find.

The Himalayan blue poppy is very important because it is used to get hybrids along with its cousin M. Grandis or Tibetan blue poppy. The difference between the Himalayan blue poppy and the Tibetan blue poppy lies in the flowers. The Tibetan flowers are larger and the cup shape is very noticeable. Also the shade of blue varies a little.

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