Linnaea borealis

Linnaea borealis

''Linnaea'' is a plant genus which has often been classified in the family Caprifoliaceae but may be more accurately considered to belong to its own family, Linnaeaceae. The genus includes a single, generally boreal to subarctic woodland subshrub species, ''Linnaea borealis'', commonly known as twinflower .

This plant was a favorite of Carl Linnaeus, founder of the modern system of binomial nomenclature, for whom it was named.
Twin Flower  Geotagged,Linnaea borealis,Spring,United States

Appearance

The perennial stems of ''Linnaea'' are slender, pubescent, and prostrate, growing to 20–40 centimetres long, with opposite evergreen rounded oval leaves 3–10 millimetres long and 2–7 mm broad. The flowering stems curve erect, to 4–8 cm tall, and are leafless except at the base. The flowers are paired, pendulous, 7–12 mm long, with a five-lobed, pale pink corolla.
Twinflower  Geotagged,Linnaea borealis,Spring,United States

Distribution

''Linnaea borealis'' has a circumpolar distribution in moist subarctic, boreal, or cool temperate forests, extending further south at higher elevations in various mountains, in Europe south to the Alps, in Asia south to northern Japan, and in North America south to northern California and to Arizona and New Mexico in the west, and to West Virginia in the Appalachian Mountains in the east.


''Linnaea borealis'' is self-incompatible, requiring cross-pollination to produce viable seeds; since pollen dispersal is usually not far, genetic individuals can become reproductively isolated. Regardless of seed production, ''Linnaea'' plants in a particular area often spread by stolons to form clonal patches of the same genotype. Such clonal stands of ''Linnaea'' can be long-persisting, in some places remaining extant even if seed is not produced or if seedling germination or establishment does not occur.

The species was presumably common in areas south of its present range during times of Pleistocene glaciations, and its clone-forming perennial growth habit has allowed it to survive the subsequent millennia locally within this former range in various high-elevation or otherwise cool and moist habitats, including algific talus slopes with persisting underground periglacial ice.

Status

While the three subspecies of ''Linnaea borealis'' are all considered widespread, abundant, and secure in their main, northern ranges, all three subspecies are of conservation concern near the subspecies's range edges or at more southerly, disjunct sites.

In Great Britain, ''Linnaea borealis'' ssp. ''borealis'' is listed as "nationally scarce", growing mainly in open pine woodlands in Scotland and northernmost England. Foresters consider this plant to be an indicator species of ancient woodlands, often found in association with creeping lady's tresses. It is found in about 50 sites around the country, with most situated in the woods around the Cairngorms; the southernmost locations are four sites in Northumberland and one in County Durham. The sparseness of the sites is responsible for the continued decline of the flower in the country. In Scotland, 37% of ''L. borealis'' patches studied consisted of a single genotype, reproducing clonally vegetatively but not producing viable seed. This is a conservation concern because without viable seed, the species may not be able to re-populate restored habitat, and may not be able to adapt to climate change by establishing new populations.

In the United States, ''Linnaea borealis'' ssp. ''americana'' is of conservation concern in several states along or near the southern edge of the species' range, including Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, and was known historically but now considered extirpated or possibly so in Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

In Canada, ''Linnaea borealis'' ssp. ''longiflora'' is considered of conservation significance in the Yukon Territory, along the eastern edge of its range, where ssp. ''americana'' is widespread and abundant.

Since many of the outlying southern sites for ''Linnaea borealis'' are in habitats that are at high elevations or otherwise in cooler microclimates than the surrounding general landscapes, ongoing and prospective climate change has become a significant concern for the conservation of this species in such places, such as Ice Mountain in West Virginia, a low-elevation algific talus slope with persisting buried ice.

Habitat

''Linnaea borealis'' has a circumpolar distribution in moist subarctic, boreal, or cool temperate forests, extending further south at higher elevations in various mountains, in Europe south to the Alps, in Asia south to northern Japan, and in North America south to northern California and to Arizona and New Mexico in the west, and to West Virginia in the Appalachian Mountains in the east.


''Linnaea borealis'' is self-incompatible, requiring cross-pollination to produce viable seeds; since pollen dispersal is usually not far, genetic individuals can become reproductively isolated. Regardless of seed production, ''Linnaea'' plants in a particular area often spread by stolons to form clonal patches of the same genotype. Such clonal stands of ''Linnaea'' can be long-persisting, in some places remaining extant even if seed is not produced or if seedling germination or establishment does not occur.

The species was presumably common in areas south of its present range during times of Pleistocene glaciations, and its clone-forming perennial growth habit has allowed it to survive the subsequent millennia locally within this former range in various high-elevation or otherwise cool and moist habitats, including algific talus slopes with persisting underground periglacial ice.

Cultural

Linnaeus took ''Linnaea borealis'' as his own personal symbol when he was raised to the Swedish nobility in 1757. In his ' , Linnaeus had used Gronovius's name ''Linnaea'' as an example to advocate the use of commemorative personal names as botanical names:

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| style="vertical-align: top; border: none; padding: 4px 10px;" | ''it is commonly believed that the name of a plant which is derived from that of a botanist shows no connection between the two...[but]...Linnaea was named by the celebrated Gronovius and is a plant of Lapland, lowly, insignificant, disregarded, flowering but for a brief space — after Linnaeus who resembles it.''
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Linnéa or Linnea is a female given name of Swedish origin, derived either from the name of the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus or from the ''Linnaea'' plant, named in his honor.

The flower of ''Linnaea borealis'' is the provincial flower of Småland, the home province of Linnaeus.

''Linnaea'' is the name of a German botanical journal

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderDipsacales
FamilyCaprifoliaceae
GenusLinnaea
SpeciesL. borealis