The Meconopsis Collection contains approximately 80% of the named blue perennial species and cultivars that are presently listed in the RHS Plant Finder, with the main display being in the Paddock.


Meconopsis in Courtyard



It is possible that Meconopsis first came to Holehird in 1914 when Reginald Farrer brought back seeds of Meconopsis quintuplinervia, also known as Farrer’s harebell poppy.  There is written evidence that Meconopsis betonicifolia, now re-named Meconopsis baileyi, grew in the Davidia border in the 1960s. Later, in the 1970s, other meconopsis species and cultivars were introduced.



Meconopsis 'Lingholm'


Currently, the large blue poppy Meconopsis 'Lingholm', a fertile hybrid, is grown in the largest numbers for the garden.  The plants are grown from seed and do well in the Lakeland climate, given a carefully chosen site.  The species M. baileyi is also grown from seed as is the monocarpic M. napaulensis (see below) which can be found

in the shady side of the courtyard bed.



Some smaller meconopsis are also grown

including M. quintuplinervia and M. punicea.

The naturally occurring hybrid M. x cookei,

between these two species is also grown,

as is a cultivar M. x cookei ‘Old Rose’.




Meconopsis iGroup


In 2009 the Lakeland Horticultural Society was chosen to hold a demonstration bed of the same twenty-three species and cultivars of big blue poppies being trialled at Harlow Carr by the RHS.  This ended in 2013, but these plants and others form the basis of a National Collection of Meconopsis which will be on display in the paddock and in various beds throughout the garden.



Since it was first published in 1972, the journal of the Lakeland Horticultural Society, The Lakeland Gardener  has included nine articles on Meconopsis.  In particular, an article published in 2007, concentrates on propagation and cultivation.  A recent leaflet  on Meconopsis at Holehird Gardens is also available from reception.


The website of The Meconopsis Group has more information. 



M. NAPAULENSIS misapplied explained as follows:-


The species M. napaulensis DC., a dwarfish yellow-flowered species not usually more than 1.1m tall and endemic to C Nepal, is not currently in cultivation. The well-known plants of gardens which pass for M. napaulensis are hybrids, for the present known as M. napaulensis misapplied. The parents of the hybrids are M. staintonii (from W Nepal) and M. paniculata (a yellow-flowered species with a purple stigma) or M. staintonii and M. regia, or a complex mixture of all three species.



M. staintonii, newly described in 2006, is a tall (to 2.5m), robust species with red or pink flowers and a dark green stigma, near in appearance to M. napaulensis of gardens, but less so to true M. napaulensis. As M. staintonii, like its near relatives, readily hybridises in cultivation, it is rarely seen in an unadulterated form.



Click here to see our meconopsis picture gallery.