Thursday, January 08, 2015

Welsh Poppy

Friends from the old country might recognise this as it is Meconopsis cambrica or Welsh Poppy. 
I realise in putting this in that it is not currently out there, around us, even in its vegetative form, but as I haven't really set out any rules about this blog I haven't, in the strictest sense, transgressed any. 
Having said that, my intention was to only include things that I have seen and identified, ideally within a reasonable temporal window of posting.
Today's posting demonstrates the flexibility of the latter stipulation. 
Another 'rule' I hoped to obey was that any images used would be my own. Again, I'm not sure how long I'd be able to keep to such a restriction. 
However, I think I can pin these colours to the mast: I will only post things I've seen myself in the British Isles. That should be more than ample organisms for the rest of my lifetime!
So apologies for breaking the temporal rule, for these beauties are out in May at the earliest. 
There is a story behind these. They hark from Aberdulais Falls in the Neath Valley. We visited them on the way to visiting my parents in Swansea, and there they were, disporting themselves in the glade. I shook some seeds from a few obliging flowerheads and when we got back to our house in Nunhead (south London) scattered them in the pocket handkerchief back garden. 
They grew well and when we moved to Lewes I again raided the seed pods. Again they grew and are now a regular feature amongst the brickwork around our front door, in a shady, reasonably damp, north east facing spot. 
Old Carl had them down as Papaver, but some clever clogs noticed that the styles were different from the other known Papaver species at the time and promptly invented the Meconopsis genus. Subsequently various other plants with similar flower structure were found and added to the genus, only for the cleverer cloggier genetics people to come along and point out that it had much more in keeping, genetically, with the Papavers after all! 
Slightly awkward as it is the 'type' species for the genus. 
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