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Meconopsis × sheldonii ‘G.Taylor’

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Meconopsis × sheldonii ‘G.Taylor’

Meconopsis × sheldonii ‘G.Taylor’

Meconopsis × sheldonii ‘G.Taylor’ grows best in areas with cool, damp summers. Most are suitable for growing in large groups in a moist, cool woodland garden. At Harlow Carr you can find these fabulous flowers along Streamside at the bottom of the Main Borders.

Vital statistics

Common name
Himalayan blue poppy
Height & spread
1.2m – 1.5m by 60cm (4-5ft × 2ft)
Deciduous perennial
Moist, humus rich, neutral to acidic
Partial shade and shelter from winds
Fully hardy


A genus of about 45 species of annuals, biennials, and deciduous or evergreen, often short lived or monocarpic perennials. They occur in moist, shady, mountainous areas, alpine meadows, woodland, scrub, scree, and rocky slopes in the Himalayas, Burma, and China, with one species from W. Europe.

The plants that usually spring to mind at the mention of Meconopsis are the 'big perennial blue Himalayan poppies' and these are the most popular grown in cultivation although in recent years a lot of focus has shifted onto the nomenclature and identification of many plants due to hybridization in gardens. The species has been introduced into cultivation during the past 150 years from their mountainous Asian habitats.

Meconopsis × sheldonii ‘G.Taylor’

These Meconopsis are associated with the late Sir George Taylor, one of the most respected British botanists of the 20th century, who undertook a major study of the plant An account of the genus Meconopsis. He initially identified the cross between M. betonicifolia and M. grandis and named it Meconopsis × sheldonii. Upon retiring from his position of Director of Kew Gardens, Taylor returned to his native Scotland and selected several forms of M. × sheldonii which were subsequently gown locally.

These are rosette forming, hairy perennials with elliptic-oblong to lance-shaped, toothed, dark green basal and stem leaves, 15–30 cm (6–12 in) long. In late spring and early summer, shallowly cup-shaped, deep rich to pale blue flowers, 6–10 cm (2½–4 in) across, are borne singly in the upper leaf axils of the branched stems, on stalks 20–50cm (8–20in) long.


  • Grow in humus rich, leafy, moist but well-drained, neutral to slightly acid soil, open enough to prevent stagnation and rot in winter.
  • Site in partial shade with shelter from cold drying winds.
  • Mulch generously and water in dry spells in summer.


  • Sow seed in containers in a cold frame, preferably as soon as ripe or in spring.
  • Use loam less seed compost, sow thinly, and keep moist; light is needed for germination.
  • Over winter keep young plants produced from autumn sowings in a cold frame. Seedlings are prone to damping off.
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