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Welsh poppy (Papaver cambricum)

Welsh poppy (Papaver cambricum)

C035/9337

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Credit

MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Close-up of the centre of a Welsh poppy (Papaver cambricum). DNA of the Welsh poppy has (2012) established that it is not related to the Asiatic Meconopsis poppies. It was first named in the 18th century by Carolus Linnaeus as Papaver cambricum. A later botanist created a new genus, renaming it Meconopsis cambrica because the seed-pod carpel was a different shape to other poppies. When Asiatic poppies were discovered in 1922, they appeared to resemble the Welsh poppy - particularly the carpel. Now, DNA results have proved Linnaeus correct - the Welsh poppy is a true poppy. The genus Papaver are not closely related to the Asian Meconopsis but, before cheap DNA tests, this could not be ascertained from the plant's structure, the means by which early Latin nomenclatures were made.

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