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Linnaea (borealis)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Caprifoliaceae
Family Common Name: Honeysuckle family
Scientific Name: Linnaea borealis L.
Common Name: Twinflower
Species Code: LINBOR
Ecotype: Lodgepole forest, West Glacier, Glacier National Park, Flathead Co., MT.1100m elevation
General Distribution: L. borealis is a circumboreal species, that occurs south to California, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Indiana, and West Virginia in open to dense woods.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 800 ml containers
Time To Grow: 15 Months
Target Specifications: Height: 2 to 3 runners, 2.5 cm height and 15 cm long<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: Firm plug in containers.
Propagule Collection: Cuttings were taken in late June from healthy field plants in partial sun exposure. Cuttings were 30 cm in length.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings were kept refrigerated and slightly moist in plastic bags for 24 hours prior to treatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Cuttings were pinned in 50% perlite and 50% sand rooting medium under mist with bottom heat maintained at 21 C for 7 weeks. 28 cuttings produced 248 plants that rooted at the nodes along the donor stems.
Rooting %: 100%
Time to Transplant: 6 weeks
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
The outdoor mistbed has automatic intermittent mist that is applied at 6 second intervals every 6 minutes. Too frequent misting will result in leaf and stem rot. Bottom heat is maintained at 21C with heating cables buried 12 cm beneath rooting medium. Mistbed is covered with shadecloth during rooting. After rooting cuttings are moved to shadehouse for the rest of the growing season.
Establishment Phase: Cuttings had rooted after 6 weeks in the mistbed.
Length of Establishment Phase: 8 weeks
Active Growth Phase: The cuttings were lifted from mistbed and each rooted nodal section was potted into 800 ml pots in a well drained medium of 50% 6:1:1 milled sphagnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite and 50% sand with Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 4 grams of Osmocote and 2.0 grams of Micromax per container. Plants were grown in the shadehouse. Plants had multiple runners and were flowering the following spring. Plants reach root tightness in 800 ml pots 15 months.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 16 weeks
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. One final irrigation ia appled prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 6 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total time to Harvest: 1.5 years
Harvest Date: September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Production of this species may be more expedient from seeds than cuttings.
L. borealis is described as a pioneer species which spreads through the surface ash layer devoid of humus following a fire. It is reported to spread as much as a 30 cm (1 ft) per year in lowland revegetation sites.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, 7th edition, University of Washington Press, 1973.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Deno, Norman, Penn State University, 1993.
Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
Aspects of the Seed Ecology of Woody Plants of the Alaska Taiga and Tundra, Densmore, R., PhD Thesis, Department of Botany, Duke University, 1979.
1996 Revegetation Monitoring Report, Glacier National Park, Asebrook, J., Lamb, B., and Funk, T., unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale; Johnson, Kathy; Keating, Rose. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Linnaea borealis L. plants 800 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/03/01). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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