Sunday, 11 November 2012


Remembrance Sunday, and poppies are still in flower in my neighbour's garden - not however the scarlet Papaver rhoeas of Flanders' fields, but the golden-yellow Welsh Poppy. Linnaeus called it Papaver cambricum but later botanists disagreed and it became Meconopsis cambrica. In the last 2-3 years there has been much research into the genetics of the plant and it is clear that the Welsh Poppy cannot justifiably be regarded as a Meconopsis and it has reverted to Papaver cambricum. So, 234 years after his death, Linnaeus has been vindicated! 

At this time of the year these poppies are unlikely to receive any insect visitors as they offers little or no nectar. In the summer bees and hoverflies will feed on the protein-rich pollen but what insects are looking for, in these chillier days, is nectar to provide the energy to survive the winter.

In Byfield the Welsh Poppy is a frequent garden escape and, here and there, an orange coloured variant appears which, to my mind, is a more attractive plant.

No comments:

Post a Comment