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Bhutan’s Brilliantly Bright, Blue Poppy

If there is one place on earth that puts nature above all else, it is surely the Kingdom of Bhutan. Almost 80% of Bhutan is covered in lush Alpine Temperate and Subtropical forests. It should come as no surprise that this biodiverse hotspot is home to some of the rarest flowers and plants worldwide.

Found in rough terrain at high altitude between rocks and moraine dams is Bhutan’s national flower the blue poppy. Known to natives as the 'Euitgel Metog’, the Blue Poppy or (Meconopsis grandisis) is one of the rarest plants in the world. So rare that like the yeti they were once thought nothing more than myth.

The monsoon season in Bhutan brings with it swollen rivers, slippery trails and blue poppies. Though the blue poppy is Bhutan’s national flower it’s not easy to find one. Once found in abundance in Paro Valley’s Chelela Pass, the blue poppy is now depleted almost to extinction.

Finding a blue poppy has become something of a tourist challenge. The blossom stands proud at over a metre high, blazing its blue in rebellion against the bleakest of backdrops. Sporting large crepe paper like petals flecked with mauve, its clashing rings of amber stamens and anthers make the blue poppy as pretty as it is scarce, and well worth hunting for.

Did You know:

The blue poopy though a heavenly blue is devilishly hard to grow outside of its natural habitat. Germination and after care even for the greenest fingered is very challenging.

The Poppy is one of the most widely used symbolic flowers around the world. Poppies symbolise peace sleep and death.

The blue poppy is thought to have become depleted in Bhutan due to natives and those from neighbouring villages and settlements digging them up over the years in the hopes of having them seed in their own gardens.

The blue poppy was first discovered and catalogued by British explorer Eric Bailey in 1912

Blue poppies grow best above the canopy at altitudes of 4000-5000 metres

The blue poppy is a hardy perennial and can reach a heady 120cm with a spread of 45cm

For more information on one of Trouvailles Trekking & Botany Tours, please contact 020 3877 0670.