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Plants in the Wild: AGS Bhutan 2009: Meconopsis

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Started by: Margaret Thorne

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Contribution from Margaret Thorne 27 March 2010, 19:23top / bottom of page

M. lyrata: slender plant growing in the shelter of shrubs. Upper leaves clasping, ovate lower leaves. Pale blue, usually 4-petalled flowers. These plants are totally unlike any of the herbarium specimens of M. lyrata at RBGE which have much smaller lobed leaves, so we initially identified our plants as M. sinuata. However, M. sinuata was photographed by Tim Lever, Martin Walsh and others further east in Bhutan and is a much more robust plant. Further investigations at RBGE revealed that our plants match the description of Cathcartia polygonoides described from Sikkim (Ann Roy Bot Gard, Calcutta, Vol 9) and lumped by Taylor into M. lyrata. They are however quite distinct and Alan Elliott has suggested calling it the Chumbi form of M. lyrata.

M. paniculata: Tall plants of open woodland and rhododendron heath, yellow flowers, dissected leaves

M. primulina: exquisite small but robust plant of open areas in rhododendron heathland and alpine grassland. Never found growing in the protection of shrubs as do M. lyrata and M. simplicifolia. Green buds without the black markings of M. bella. 5 or more blue (very rarely pink) petals and flower often with a long black style. Leaves in basal rosettes, entire or toothed, present at flowering time.

Try again!

M. simplicifolia: Plants up to a metre tall, almost always growing in the protection of shrubs, even in places which are not heavily grazed, though photographs are often of the exceptional ones which don?t. Variable in many respects: colour of hairs, degree of hairiness, leaf shape, abundance of flowers etc. The best forms are stunning, most are desirable but the worst are unimpressive.


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