Morina longifolia

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Robert Pavlis

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

Morina longifolia; photo by Robert Pavlis
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
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.

Plant Science for Gardeners by Robert Pavlis

Morina longifolia

(mor-IN-uh lon-jee-FOH-lee-uh)

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 of Morina longifolia:

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

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Robert Pavlis

I have been gardening my whole life and have a science background. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes--I am a plantaholic!

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