Slieve Donard

M. Slieve Donard

Meconopsis ‘Slieve Donard’
Infertile Blue Group. MG No. 8.
Awards: AGM 1993, confirmed in 2013. FCC 2005.
Named by the Slieve Donard Nursery, 1967. Registered by The Meconopsis Group, 2000

Meconopsis Slieve Donard plantThe hairs covering the young, upright, green leaves give them a furry appearance.

Meconopsis Slieve Donard leaf bladeThe elliptical shape of a mature leaf.

Meconopsis Slieve Donard flowerSky blue, over-lapping,
rounded petals and
the thin, prominent style.

Meconopsis Slieve Donard seed pod

The slender,
ellipsoidal fruit
capsule covered
in bristles.

Meconopsis ‘Slieve Donard’ is a widely available, reliable and vigorous, sterile hybrid   The plant is the result of a deliberate cross fertilisation. Around 1935 Dr Curle of Edinburgh crossed M. baileyii with M. grandis subsp. grandis. (Such crosses are described as M. x sheldonii after W. G. Sheldon who made the first authenticated cross in 1934.) Dr Curle raised several seedlings from this cross. Plants were given to friends and one clone eventually arrived at The Slieve Donard Nursery in Northern Ireland. In the late 1950s it was sold as M. grandis ‘Prain’s Variety’, an invalid name.


The nodding to half nodding flowers are sky blue with rounded, overlapping petals, with a silky texture and a wavy edge.  Flowering is in late May to June.

A long, slender, prominent style, merging into a slender stigma, is twice the length of the stamens

The resulting fruit capsule is ellipsoidal in shape and often remains very slender. The carpel and sutures are covered with white-tipped, straw-coloured bristles.

The rosettes of emerging slender, upright, green leaves have a furry appearance because they are often covered in dense long, pale-tipped hairs. They have a pale midrib. Occasionally there is some red-purple pigmentation on the lower surface.

The basal leaves have narrow elliptical blades with a clear midrib. The margins of the blade are essentially entire.

Meconopsis ‘Slieve Donard’ is present in large numbers in many gardens including the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and Dawyck Botanic Garden near Peebles. It is easily available from specialist nurseries and some garden centres.

M. Slieve Donard

Meconopsis ‘Slieve Donard’ at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.