Greek mekon—poppy, opsis—like.
Annual, biennial or perennial herbs. Sap yellow. Leaves mostly lobed or dissected. Flowers solitary or in clusters, yellow, red or blue to mauve. Sepals 2, soon shed. Petals 4-9. Stamens numerous. Fruit a variously shaped capsule opening at the apex by teeth-like valves.
Rarely cultivated species include: M. cambrica Vig., Welsh Poppy from W Europe, which has solitary yellow flowers to 7.5 cm wide and is sometimes supplied as the cultivar 'Flore Pleno' with semi-double yellow or orange flowers; M. horridula Hook. f. & Thomson from Europe, which has 1-2 blue, violet or white flowers per stem, each with 4-8 petals and has stems and leaves covered with spiny bristles; and M. napaulensis DC., Satin Poppy, which has red, purple or blue (rarely white) flowers in branched clusters.
Capsule with teeth-like valves.
About 60 species mostly from the Himalaya and W China (1 in W Europe).
Taylor, G. (1985), Cobb (1989), Grey-Wilson (1992).
Source: (1997). Papaveraceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.