Lindelofia longiflora is a little known hardy perennial from the western Himalayas. A member of the borage family with intense gentian blue flowers. Blooming from late spring to summer they resemble a cross between Anchusa, Forget-Me-Not and Pulmonaria.
Lindelofia longiflora is an excellent plant for a perennial border, cottage garden, woodland or wildlife garden. It prefers moist but well drained soil. It can cope with wet soils as long as they are ventilated with gravel.
Graceful sprays of deep blue to purple flowers appear in May, borne in lax or dense elongated clusters and grow to around 15mm (1/2in) across. The plants are clump forming and grow to 60cm (24in) tall with dark green, elongated oval leaves.
Native to the Himalayas where they can be found at altitudes up to 12,500 ft. (4000 metres), Lindelofia longiflora are long lived and extremely hardy to around minus 32°C (-25°F).
Sowing: Sow seeds in spring or in autumn.
The seeds need a period of cold to enable them to germinate. In autumn sow the seeds on the surface of seed compost, cover with grit and keep in a shaded cold-frame or cool glasshouse.
Sow seed 2.5cm (1in) apart in trays or cells containing seed compost. Sow the seeds on the surface of the compost, and place in a light position at a regular temperature of around 16°C (60°F) Germination should take place between 30 and 60 days at temperatures of around 15 to 18°C (60 to 65°F).
The seeds can also be sown during warmer times of the year, but it would be necessary to artificially simulate winter using the following method of 'stratification':
Place the seeds between two pieces of damp filter paper or folded kitchen roll then put into a polythene bag and place this into the fridge at 4°C (39°F) which is the temperature that most fridges are set at. Inspect the seeds after two weeks and remove as the seedlings appear, plant them in single small pots or trays and returning the ungerminated seeds to the fridge. Germination can be erratic, although most should germinate in 2 to 4 weeks.
When seedlings have their first pair of true leaves and are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots containing peaty compost to grow on. Before planting outdoors, gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days. Plant them in a humus-rich, moisture retentive soil and in partial shade. Plant them quite deep, so the top of the roots are 25mm (1in) below the soil level. Water until established. They will tolerate full sun if the soil remains moist at all times.
Perennial border, Cottage garden, Shade and Woodland Gardens, Large rock garden.
Lindelofia longiflora is native to the western Himalayas, from Pakistan, Kashmir and Nepal, at altitudes of 3000-3600 m. It is a member of the Boraginaceae, the borage family.
The Indian western Himalaya offers immense scope for ethnobotanical studies. Because of the unique geographical location, the area of Lahaul-Spiti harbours distinct ethnic and biological diversity. This is one of the regions in Indian Himalaya, where traditional healing system is still popular among the local people. Lindelofia longiflora is locally known as Showarag or Showara. The leaves are burned to prepare ash which is applied on cuts and wounds to control bleeding and for quick healing. Dry leaves are crushed and then boiled in water. One glass of decoction is taken once for two days to cure food poising and control vomiting.
Lindelofia longiflora is a species of flowering plant that was first described in 1836 by the botanist George Bentham. This plant went through an identity crisis with number of name changes before being finally named Lindelofia longiflora in 1890.
Henri Ernest Baillon dedicated Lindelofia longiflora to Friedrich von Lindelof, (1794-1882), a German politician and Minister of Justice of the Grand Duchy of Hesse.
The name longiflora simply means Long-Flower, it also has the common name of Long-Flower Lindelofia. Both names refer to the long tubed bright blue flowers.
Native to the western Himalayas, it is commonly called Himalayan Lungwort. The word Lungwort is the common name of the Pulmonaria plant, which has very similar flowers.
Historical and Taxonomic Position:
Lindelofia longiflora was first described in 1836 by George Bentham, an English botanist and Secretary to the Horticultural Society. It was originally named Cynoglossum longiflorum Benth.
In 1846 Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle placed it in the genre Omphalodes. It was then called Omphalodes longiflora (Benth.)
In 1849 Pierre Edmond Boisset described this species in the new genus Paracaryum. He called it Paracaryum longiflorum (Benth.) Boiss.
However, in 1890 Johann Georg Christian Lehmann Johann used this species as one of the two type species of the genus he described in 1850, but with a different specific epithet: Lindelofia spectabilis Lehm.
Finally, in 1890, Henri Ernest Baillon corrected the specific epithet of George Bentham and renamed it Lindelofia longiflora (Benth.) Baill. In 1953, in the first comprehensive review of its kind Mikhail Popov Grigorievic confirmed the assignment to the genus Lindelofia.
Because of this history, Lindelofia longiflora has a number of synonyms:
Anchusopsis longiflora (Benth.) Bisch.
Cynoglossum longiflorum Benth.
Lindelofia spectabilis Lehm.
Omphalodes longiflora (Benth.) A.DC.
Paracaryum longiflorum (Benth.) Boiss.
George Bentham, (born Sept. 22, 1800, Devon, Eng.—died Sept. 10, 1884, London), British botanist whose classification of seed plants (Spermatophyta), based on an exhaustive study of all known species, served as a foundation for modern systems of vascular plant taxonomy.
Impressed by the French naturalist Pyrame de Candolle’s analytic tables of French flora, Bentham began to study botany while managing his father’s estate near Montpellier, Fr., and serving as secretary (1826–32) to his uncle, the British philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham. In 1833, upon his inheritance of wealth following the deaths of his father and uncle, Bentham turned his full attention to botany.
After he donated his herbarium of more than 100,000 specimens to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, Surrey, in 1854, the director of the Gardens, Sir William Hooker, invited him to establish permanent quarters there. At Kew, Bentham participated in the Gardens’ definitive survey of floras of the British colonies and possessions, for which he prepared the Flora Hongkongensis (1861) and the Flora Australiensis (7 vol., 1863–78), cataloging and describing more than 7,000 species.
Realising the inadequacy of current criteria for assigning species to their appropriate genera, he undertook the ambitious task of compiling an unambiguous descriptive classification of all seed plants. Collaborating with Hooker’s son Sir Joseph, Bentham spent 27 years in research and examination of specimens for the work Genera Plantarum (3 vol., 1862–83). It was published in Latin and covered 200 'orders' (analogous to what are now known as families) of 7,569 genera, which included more than 97,200 species.
Although their general system of classification represented little more than a refinement of Candolle’s taxonomy and failed to recognise the dynamic nature of plant speciation postulated by Charles Darwin’s principles of organic evolution, it established an authoritative taxonomy of genera and species that has been largely adopted by modern systems of classification based upon evolutionary theory.
Bentham and Hooker’s taxonomy, with modifications, persists throughout the British Commonwealth. Bentham’s Handbook of British Flora (1858; 7th ed., 1924) remains a standard work.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 150mg Average Seed Count 25 seeds Family Boraginaceae Genus Lindelofia Species longiflora Synonym Lindelofia spectabilis, Omphalodes longiflora Common Name Himalayan Lungwort Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Deep blue to purple Natural Flower Time May to June Height 60cm (24in) Spread 60cm (24in) Position Full sun to light shade.