Plant of the Month for February, 2013

 (mor-IN-uh lon-jee-FOH-lee-uh)

General Information:

Morina longifolia is a rare perennial from the Himalayas.  The genus Morina is named in honour of a French nurseryman Rene Morin who has the distinction of issuing the first seed catalogue in 1621.

Morina longifolia; photo by Robert Pavlis

This plant produces very interesting flowers that open white and then turn pink once they are pollinated. They appear in mid-summer on an elongating flower stem that reaches about 20 cm in length. The glossy leaves form a rosette near the ground and look very much like a Canada Thistle. This resemblance is so strong that I’ve pulled out seedlings by mistake.

Stroking the leaves will produce a strong tangerine perfume that is quite unique. Since the flowers are pollinated by moths, this fragrance is probably stronger at night.

Morina longifolia; photo by Robert Pavlis

When grown from seed it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 years to flower depending on culture. Morina longifolia is a long lived perennial provided that it is not grown too wet in winter. Mine have been growing for 4 years in a dry, clay, zone 5, garden.

For something really interesting about this plant - have a look at this video. Morina is mentioned at about the 1:30 mark.

 

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 60-90cm (2-3 ft)

Bloom Time: mid-summer

Natural Range: Himalayas (Kashmir to Bhutan)

Habitat: Open slopes, 3 – 4,000 m

Synonyms: none. 

 

Cultivation:

Light: full sun, can take some shade

Soil: loam or sandy soil, that is dry in winter

Water: average moisturein summer, dry in winter

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5- 9

Propagation: seed, root cuttings, does not divide or transplant well due to a large tap root

Seedex availability (ORG&HPS annual Seed Exchange): occasionally

7

Requires soaking. Place in warm water until seeds swell, usually 24-48 hours. Discard floaters and the water used for soaking. See https://youtu.be/dhL57pqnHHQ

A

Sow @ 20°C. Seed germinates within 3 months.
soak 5-6 days
Robert Pavlis