Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Linnaea borealis

Twinflower, American twinflower

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Linnaea borealis (Twinflower)
Bengston, Bennie
This is a creeping ground cover with trailing stems reaching 3 ft. in length. These groups of slender, woody stems bear glossy, bright, evergreen leaves arranged in pairs. The delicately fragrant flowers are pinkish, bell-shaped and in nodding pairs at the end of 4-6 in. stalks.A low, delicate, matted evergreen plant with trailing stems having short, upright branches, each terminated by 2 pinkish-white, nodding bell-shaped flowers. Stems hairy. Twinflower was a favourite of the great Swedish botanist, Carl von Linne, who invented the system of binomial nomenclature.

A beautiful trailing plant of the North, this is the American variety of the European plant. It was named for Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), the father of modern botany, who was so fond of the flower he had his portrait painted with it. This charming plant makes a good ground cover in the woodland garden.

Image Gallery:

9 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , ID , IL , IN , IA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MT , NH , NJ , NM , NY , ND , OH , OR , PA , RI , SD , TN , UT , VT , WA , WV , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Canada & AK, s. in the n. 1/3 of the U.S. & through the western mts. (Pacific plants are usually considered ssp. longiflora; others are ssp. americana)
Native Habitat: Cool, moist woods; peat knolls

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Cool, moist, acidic, humus-rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Requires good drainage but will not tolerate drought.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2009-03-25