Need for a study Group:
The Meconopsis Group was founded in order to study various aspects of the genus Meconopsis, including identification and nomenclature, and cultivation and propagation.. In particular, much of the work has concentrated on resolving problems arising from the confusion of hybrids in cultivation.
Identification and naming problems:
Meconopsis grandis, M. baileyi (M. betonicifolia of hort.) and M. simplicifolia were introduced into cultivation from the early years of the 20th century. By the end of the century it was clear that there were problems in identification and nomenclature concerning the “big perennial blue Himalayan poppies”. Clearly the species M. grandis, M. baileyi and M. simplicifolia, and probably others as well, had crossed haphazardly when grown in close proximity in gardens, thereby creating a range of sterile hybrids over the previous 80 years or so. Whilst some of the hybrids had been named, others had not. Also detailed descriptions and illustrations of named hybrids had been rather haphazard such that true identities were often in doubt. Not in doubt was the fact that individual sterile plants could often be traced back for 40 – 50 years and this in itself is quite remarkable. Of more recent appearance in cultivation were fertile hybrids. These are now raised annually in large numbers from seed.(e.g. M. ‘Lingholm’.)
The Meconopsis Group set about devising procedures to attempt to clarify the identities of the plants and to rationalise the nomenclature.