Alas not in the Himalayas, but fortunate to see them ‘in the flesh’ at Lost Horizons. Like from another planet, these fabled blue poppies are actually not true poppies. In the Fam. Papaveraceae, they belong to the genus Meconopsis, derived from the Greek mecon (poppy) and opsis (like): poppy-like.
Meconopsis grandis – the Blue Poppy, the national flower of Bhutan, was discovered in 1922 during a British Himalayan expedition to Everest.
Meconopsis betonicifolia (or Meconopsis bailey) – The Tibetan Blue Poppy, was discovered in 1913 in the gorges of Tsangpo River in Tibet by a British army officer, Major Frederick M. Bailey. Both were introduced in 1926 at the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual show, causing a blue-poppy- philia (corrected – thanks Jo Ann) that lasts through this day.
(click on any image to open the gallery)