April

Meconopsis xcookei ‘Old Rose’

 

An excellent hybrid resulting from a deliberate cross made 10 years ago between Meconopsis punicea and M. quintuplinerva by Leslie Drummond. Interestingly the hybrid has since been found growing in the wild in the native habitat of the parent species of N.E.Tibet. The RHS classifies hardiness of the parents as zone 7 and 8 respectively. Both M. quntuplinerva and M.xcookei ‘Old Rose’ came through the winter and seven weeks of snow in 2010-2011 in Dundee quite comfortably. Originally both were planted in the spring of 2010. M. punicea apparently dies after flowering in this country, it is thought but unproven to be perennial in the wild. Both parents are soundly perennial.

The deep rose flowers which wave in the breeze on 9 or 10 inch long stems arising from lanceolate fresh green leaves 3 or 4 inches high and forming clumps and eventually mats. The flower stems, which change from light green to dark purple black towards the petals, have golden bristle. The petals themselves are very thin with a waxy texture and are lightly crimpled appearance. As yet M. quintuplinerva is not in flower.

My plant is growing in a poor damp soil covered with bark chippings, which helps to keep the roots cool and the ground moist, in full sun and looks quite happy, It makes a lovely contrast growing in among dwarf forms of Rhododendron kelecticum and R. impeditum. At one time this hybrid would be considered a plant for the peat garden.

 

I got my plant along with other Meconopsis from Ian Christie up at Kirriemuir who specialises in Meconopsis . MacPlants also grow this one; Edrom Nursery near Eyemouth may also be worth trying.

James McCombe

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