Welsh poppies – Meconopsis cambrica

Welsh poppies

The Welsh poppy – Meconopsis cambrica – will cheer up any dull spot with its beautiful flowers in shades from pale yellow to rich juicy orange all the way from March to November.

If their cheerful beauty isn’t reason enough to include Welsh poppies in your planting, how about doing it for the bees?  Bumble bees love them, and the poppies’ long flowering period makes them especially beneficial to bees.  One of the benefits of growing native “weeds” is that they are often the preferred food plants of many insect species, presumably because they evolved together.

Welsh poppies are generally trouble-free, but they can be affected by a downy mildew (some type of Peronospora), especially in damp springs. They are also popular with Calocoris sexguttatus, a type of capsid bug.

Some people have problems germinating Welsh poppy seeds.  I have found that collecting some soil from the root area of the plant at the same time as collecting the seeds, and then including this when sowing the seeds can dramatically improve germination and success.  Perhaps there is some kind of fungal association that helps.  Who knows, but it works for me!

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