The Meconopsis Group

Group Projects


The Meconopsis Group aims to increase knowledge and awareness of Meconopsis. The committee has suggested many subjects for such projects, and at the October 2022 meeting we were asked to make that list available to all members. This is a version of the list with subjects in broad groups, each with smaller topics within it. It includes some projects already running.

We would really like to have as many members of the Group as possible involved. What are your skills, talents, interests? For many projects you could contribute from anywhere in the world; others are more practical. Most could use groups of people, so you could meet with friends or make new ones.

If you are interested, please contact our secretary. Also let us know if there are other projects that you think are relevant. Thank you.

Group Sub-group Topic
Conservation Safeguarding the future of species and cultivars
Maintaining in cultivation Track status of wild taxa in cultivation with a regular census; identify influential factors such as climate and geology
Maintaining in cultivation Increase awareness of the status of wild taxa in cultivation, encouraging donation of seed of less common taxa to the seed exchange
Maintaining in cultivation Facilitate pollen sharing for rarer taxa
Maintaining in cultivation Maximise benefit of species champions, by providing guidance and encouraging annual donations of seed to the exchange
Maintaining in cultivation Match species with champions with reference to the latter’s growing conditions, interest and proven ability
Maintaining in cultivation Facilitate species champions networking with each other, particularly if they are championing the same species
Avoiding hybridisation Study which taxa can hybridise, the extent to which it occurs by chance, and factors that influence it
Avoiding hybridisation Raise awareness of possible garden hybridisation and, where necessary, of mitigation factors
Avoiding hybridisation Encourage hand pollination to facilitate good seed set and avoid hybridistion
Managing seed distribution Consider maximising conservation benefits of the seed exchange, e.g. by directing seed of scarce taxa to expert growers for the particular taxon, or offering choice items only to donors, to encourage donation
Cultivation methods Provide more information about cultivation
Improving website Check existing information on website
Improving website Identify what further information is needed
Improving website Provide text, photos, videos, data etc. for website
Gazetteer Produce a gazetteer of place names relevant to wild Meconopsis
Feasibility study Assess feasibility of compiling a list of relevant place names, past and present, in the Sinohimalayan region
Developing gazetteer Collect data
Developing gazetteer Link places to simple maps and coordinates
Hybridisation Remake the ‘classic’ inter-species hybrids and create new hybrids
Studying fertility Identify which species are self fertile
Studying fertility Investigate which species hybridise and produce fertile seed
Creating hybrids Create and study crosses between M. gakyidiana, M. grandis and M. baileyi in all combinations
Creating hybrids Investigate crosses between ‘big blue poppy’ and yellow integrifolia species and subspecies.
Identification Encourage correct naming and provide tools for identification
Accurate naming Support donors in checking the identity of their plants, particularly before submitting seed to the group seed exchange
Accurate naming Provide photos to aid identification, encourage members to photograph their plants, set up an identification service, particularly to ensure accurate naming of seed sent to the group seed exchange
Accurate naming Encourage commercial growers to use correct, valid names
Accurate naming Encourage RBGE to name plants correctly and grow more species, in the most favourable locations. There is potential for a major conservation project here.
Creating keys Create keys for identification of wild taxa and of cultivars. Both photographic and multi-character keys are desirable.
Photography Provide visual aids for identification and cultivation
Images  Encourage members to photograph their plants and submit them for the Meconopsis Species Gallery, especially of those species for which we have none in cultivation
Images Encourage Himalayan and Chinese contacts to send us their photos and have more engagement with the Group
Images More photograhs of parts of plants on the web for members to compare. Encourage members to take their own photographs to share and compare.
Videos Create videos to illustrate Meconopsis study and cultivation
Taxonomy of cultivars Improve the naming of cultivars
George Sherriff Group Compare cultivars in the group, recording differences, identifying synonyms. (Existing project)
Cultivar groups Redefine cultivar groups based on their parentage instead of fertility
Taxonomy of species Support development of Meconopsis taxonomy
DNA Study all available species, subspecies etc. from at least two wild origins. (Existing project)
DNA Study cultivars, to identifying relationships between them and their parent species. (Existing project)
Naming Encourage (assist?) RBGE to ensure herbarium specimens are correctly named and filed according to current taxonomy
Naming  Investigate whether some George Sherriff Group plants are pure Meconopsis gakyidiana
Website Improve the website
Analysing requirements Work out what attracts non-member visitors to the site (other than colourful pretty photographs)
Analysing requirements Act on frequent social  media questions, such as how to grow them, identification of their plants, how and when to split clumps of plants
Developing web pages Commission/prepare new material: text, images, not technical web programming