Linaria maroccana ‘Northern Lights’ (Fairyflax)
You really have to be present with Linaria in an outdoor context to fully comprehend the charm of this dainty, almost otherworldly plant. One can easily see how the name ‘Northern lights’ came about, as it recalls to the mind something of celestial radiance. Short, slender, emerald colored spikes rise lance shaped to bear ethereal , petite, two-lipped flowers of amethyst, lilac, magenta, periwinkle, gold, coral, and ivory, gracefully waving their exquisite heads in the breeze. It can carry on like this June through September if temperatures do not rise to high, and it is given a bit of water when they do. They will grow 20-24” tall, and 10-12” wide in a light, dry soil or a rich, well drained soil equally. Linaria are great for flower beds, borders, meadows, cottage gardens, and cut flowers. After the first bloom is exhausted, shear them down to 5 inches or so, and watch another bloom rise like a lacy vapor among its companions in your garden. Linaria mingles well with others, and reseeds itself to continue its bewitching presence year after year. Plant in full sun to light shade. The Sunset Climate Zones are 1-24.
The name maroccana literally means, ‘of Morocco’. There are 125 species of Linaria, sometimes also called toadflax, spanning across North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, but Linaria maroccana is from Morocco, the northwestern most country in Africa. Like our featured flower from last week’s blog, Linaria maroccana used to be a part of the Scrophulariaceae family, or figwort family, but recent study of its genetic history caused it to be moved into the Plantaginacea family, or plantain family. This plant is named after Carl Linnaeus, the father of Taxonomy, a Swedish botanist who formalized binomial nomenclature, our modern system of naming organisms. In Latin “Linum” means flax. We are currently selling Linaria maroccana ‘Northern Lights’ in 6 pack flats. We appreciate your interest in our plants! Please give us a call, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, or check out our website at www.clearwatercolor.com to learn more about this and other plants we are growing.