A new planting of Meconopsis Hybrids can be seen in the woodland garden, one of the best being Meconopsis ‘Slieve Donard’. This hybrid has an Edinburgh city pedigree dating from about 1935. Dr. Curle a former Director of the Royal Scottish Museum used Meconopsis grandis and Meconopsis betonicifolia as breeding parents; raising many seedlings. Some of these found their way to the long gone Slieve Donard Nursery, Co.Down, Northern Ireland. Here they were bulked up and the Slieve Donard form selected out and introduced to the trade. With us; flowering commenced in the middle of the month and has now reached its peak.
More detailed information on the nomenclature of the genus can be found at the Meconopsis Group website. The group are currently undertaking a revision of the genus, placing Meconopsis ‘Slieve Donard’ in the Infertile Blue Group.
As a contrast; planted near this group in the woodland garden is Meconopsis ‘Marit’ defined by its large white petals. Both cultivars mentioned send up flower spikes from a basal rosette of leaves. The clumps require splitting and dividing every 3 – 4 years. Appreciating a cool moist root run the addition of composted organic matter at planting will ensure sturdy growth and reliable flower production.
Established plantings can be seen at Dawyck Botanic Garden where it has long been planted along the banks of the Scrape Burn.