Plant of the Month for October 2016

Morina longifolia
Morina longifolia

Description and general Information:

Morina longifolia is a perennial species from the Himalayas, Kashmir to Bhutan, growing on stony slopes up to 4000m.  Plants produce a basal rosette of lemon-scented, shiny, elongate leaves that have spiny-tipped serrations.  Overall they appear similar to Canada thistle. The flower stems arise early to mid-season, to a height of 90 cm and are topped with a spike of white to pink flowers.  Flowers are produced in whorls.  Individual flowers have 5 petals and are produced at the end of a narrow tube.  The white flowers turn pink once they are pollinated, primarily by moths.

Cultivation:

This sun-loving species may be grown in zones 5-9.  While it can tolerate considerable moisture in summer, they need to be on the dry side in winter so a well-drained site is essential.  It does not seem to be fussy about the soil pH.  It is a tap-rooted species that resents transplanting so it is best to set out young plants.

Blooming Season:

June in the south to August in the north.

Propagation:

Seeds

Seeds:

Seeds may be sown directly at 20 C without the need for a stratification period.

Division:

Not generally practiced

Cuttings:

Not generally practiced

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