Blue poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia) profile

Written by Maggie

Apr 19 2021

Blue poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia) profile

Blue poppy is an annual or perennial herb, with yellow juice. One species is native to Western Europe, the other 48 species are equally distributed in the China-Himalayas region, but the most original species is in central China.

There are 38 species in China, of which 17 species are concentrated in Yunnan. Most of them are concentrated in the snow-mountain meadows, alpine shrubs and rock beaches with altitudes of 3000--5000 meters in northwest Yunnan, and a few species are concentrated in the subalpine areas in central and northeast Yunnan. Qilian Mountains in the northwest also have distribution.

Blue poppy picture

Blue poppy

Blue poppy info

Botanical Name Meconopsis betonicifolia or Meconopsis baileyi
Common Names Blue Poppy. Himalayan Blue Poppy
Plant Type Perennial, Herbaceous
Sun Part Shade
Hardiness Zones 5-7, USA
Flower color Blue
Native Area Himalayas
Mature size Up to 4 ft. tall

Morphological characteristics of blue poppy


Blue Poppy is an annual or perennial herb, 15-60 cm tall, with rusty or yellowish bristles all over. Taproots are conspicuous, hypertrophic and prolonged or radish like thickening. Stem is branched or unbranched, or basal scapes, spiny, hirsute, pilose, or glabrous.


The leaves of Blue Poppy are all basal rosettes or also on the stem, and the rosettes are usually persistent in winter. Leaf blade is entire, serrate, pinnately lobed to pinnately lobed, glabrous to spiny; Basal and lower cauline leaves are  long stalk, upper cauline leaves short stalk or sessile, sometimes extrapulse.


Peanuts of Blue Poppy are on scapes or on inflorescences without or with bracts, solitary or arranged racemally or paniculate. The flowers are large and beautiful, blue, purple, red or yellow, thin white; Sepals 2, very sparse 3-4 on terminal flowers, caducous; Petals are usually 4, sometimes 5-10; Stamens are numerous, filaments mostly filiform, sparse lower part or whole for strip; Ovary is subglobose, ovate, obovate to narrowly cylindrical, 1-loculed, 3-polycarpellate, ovules numerous, styles conspicuous, usually short, sometimes nearly vanishes, equally thick from upper to lower or base expanded into disk and covered on ovary, stigma separated or united, head or clavate, often radiate downward, opposite to placenta.


Capsule of Blue Poppy is subglobose, ovate, obovate, elliptic to narrowly cylindrical, bristling, hirsute or glabrous, 3-12 lobes lobed or dehiscent from apex to base to 1/3 or more of full length, sparsely lobed to base. Seeds are many, ovate, reniform, falcate oblong or long elliptic, smooth or with longitudinal indentation, without caruncle.

Ecological habits of blue poppy

Blue Poppy is a wild alpine flower that grows on the frontiers of rock beaches and glaciers at altitudes of 3,000 to 4,000 meters. Known as the "mountain peony", the European respected as the "world famous flower".

Blue Poppy is mainly distributed in the snow-mountain meadows, alpine shrubs, streamstone beaches, and a few species in the subalpine areas of central and northeastern Yunnan.

How to grow and care for blue poppy


In their native habitat, Himalayan blue poppies would develop on damp woodland flooring the place they would obtain dappled light. These vegetation can not live on if they are uncovered to too much severe sunlight. They decide upon a partial color function with vibrant however oblique light.

If you stay in an area that experiences very slight summer time temperatures, they may additionally nevertheless manipulate in a greater sunny position, but, ideally, this would solely expose them to direct morning sun.


Blue poppies have very precise soil requirements. To thrive, they want a moist however well-drained kind that is wealthy in natural matter. Loamy soils work best, and fanatics regularly enrich them with leaf Remember to reduce the danger of stagnation and to preserve moisture.

They are additionally noticeably touchy to pH levels. A soil check is encouraged earlier than planting as they opt for an impartial to barely acidic type. Too much alkalinity results in the blooms turning crimson as a substitute than blue, and it can influence growth.


Blue poppies want to be constantly moist at some point of their boom duration in the late spring and summer. In the winter, their desire is to be stored dry, so no supplemental watering is commonly required.

Temperature and humidity

Blue poppies may not be splendid for developing in the southern states that are warm and humid. Temperate areas that do not have overly warm summers are exceptional for these plants.


If your soil hasn't been enriched sufficiently with manure, compost or leaf mold, you ought to observe a susceptible dose of slow-release granular fertilizer at some stage in the spring and summer time boom period.


Experts agree that throughout the first 12 months of growth, any buds performing on stems ought to be eliminated earlier than they flower. That way, your blue poppies will be in a position to focus on setting up sturdy roots and growing their foliage. This will motivate this notably short-lived plant to continue to exist longer.

Cutting them down to the floor in late fall is additionally a frequent practice.

Propagating blue poppy  

Clumps that are turning into overcrowded need to additionally be divided as this can assist to extend the existence of blue poppies. Do endure in mind, however, if you layout to divide your plant to create a new clump some other place in your garden, given the durability of this species, they may additionally no longer continue to exist all that a good deal longer. For this reason, propagation is regularly great performed from seeds.

How to grow blue poppies from seed

Growing blue poppies from seeds is not viewed as an handy task. The germinating seeds want respectable light, can be susceptible to damping off (a fungal sickness that influences the growing roots), and they do not reply properly to being transplanted.

Sowing clean seeds is recommended. They ought to be sown thinly on the floor of their nutrient-rich soil or beginning mix. This have to be saved evenly moist, however make positive it would not get waterlogged. To forestall transplant shock, they might also do higher being sown in peat pots.

Unlike set up plants, blue poppy seeds want a first rate quantity of mild for profitable germination, and perfect temperatures are around fifty five to 60°F. Intense, extended sunlight, however, ought to nonetheless be avoided.

Pests & disease of blue poppy

You can also want to defend your blue poppies from slugs and snails and they can be susceptible to downy mildew on their foliage.

Blue poppy

Variety classification of blue poppy

The Blue Poppy family is thriving, with a total of 49 species. Except for one species from Western Europe, the rest are distributed in the Himalayas and the Hengduan Mountains of China. Lijiang has eight. Most of them are concentrated in the snow-covered mountain meadows, alpine shrubs and rock banks at an altitude of 3000 ~ 5000 meters in northwest Yunnan. A few species are found in the subalpine areas in central Yunnan and northeast Yunnan. Hengduan Mountain is the center of the Blue Poppy family, where there are 39 species, of which the light Blue Lijiang Blue Poppy and the bright yellow Gongshan Blue Poppy are the most famous. Qilian Mountains in the northwest also have distribution, common yellow, stunning shape color.

Blue Poppy M. Aculeata

Blue poppyM. Argemonantha

Blue Poppy M. Barbiseta

Blue Poppy M. Betonicifolia

Blue Poppym. Chelidonifolia

Elegant Blue Poppy M. Concinna

Blue Poppy M. Delavayi

Xizang Blue Poppym. Florindae

Blue Poppy M. Forrestii in Lijiang

Blue Poppy M. Georgei

Blue Poppy M. Gracilipes

Blue Poppy M. Grandis

Blue Poppy M. Henrici

Spiny Blue Poppy M. Horridula

Blue Poppy M. Impedita in western Yunnan

The entire leaf is Blue poppy M. integrifolia

Long leaf Blue Poppym. Lancifolia

Blue Poppy M. Lyrata

Blue Poppy M. Napaulensis from Nepal

Blue Poppym. Oliverana

Blue Poppy M. Paniculata

Primulina Blue Poppy M. Primulina

Pseudohorridula Blue poppy M. pseudohorridula

Pseudovenusta Blue poppy M. pseudovenusta

Red Flower Blue Poppy M. Punicea

M. quintuplinervia of the five-vein group

Racemosa Blue Poppy M. Racemosa

Single leaf Blue Poppy M. Simplicifolia

Gonshan Blue Poppy M. Smithiana

Beautiful Blue Poppy M. Speciosa

Tall Blue Poppy M. Superba

Blue Poppy M. Venusta

Blue Poppy M. Violacea

Umon Blue Poppym. Wumungensis

Blue Poppy M. Zangnanensis, et al

Blue poppy's distribution region

There are 49 species of Blue Poppy in the world, which are mainly produced in central and southern Asia, and the most abundant in China. There are 40 species distributed in Tibet, Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi and other provinces, among which 17 species are in Yunnan.

Blue poppy uses

Medical use

Blue poppy is not only beautiful in color and has high ornamental value, but also can be used as medicine to cure diseases. For example, the whole Blue Poppy (also known as "Yellow Lotus" in Lijiang) and the whole Nepalese Blue Poppy (also known as "Shanwo Bamboo" in Luquan) herbs have the effect of clearing away heat and detoxification, clearing away heat and relieving cough; Leaves were collected before anthesis to treat acid reflux in stomach. Flower antipyretic emetic, anti-inflammatory, but also treats broken bones. The total Blue poppy, also known as "red hair ginseng" and "snow ginseng", is used as medicine to treat Qi deficiency, edema, asthma and other diseases, and has the effect of tonifying the middle. 

Gaeden use

Blue Poppy should be decorated with a flower garden and a sparse forest background. Blue Poppy is large in flower shape and bright in color, so it has a high appreciation.