Linnaea borealis (Twinflower)
|Also known as:|
|Life cycle:||perennial woody|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; cool northern forest|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||3 to 6 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FAC NCNE: FAC|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A pair of small pink nodding flowers at the top of a slender, hairy stem that is forked near its summit. The funnel shaped flowers have 5 rounded lobes that are whiter than the tube. The flowers are 1/3 to ½ inch long and smooth on the outside but lined with small hairs on the inside. The small calyx holding the flower has 5 narrow lobes, sharply pointed and densely hairy.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are nearly basal but opposite, evergreen, generally oval, 1/3 to 2/3 inch long, ¼ to nearly 2/3 inch
wide, toothless or with several shallow teeth at the tip end, sparsely hairy on upper surface, nearly
smooth underneath, tapering to a short stalk. Stems are fine, wiry and hairy, creeping along the ground up to six feet, rooting down at the nodes forming large colonial mats.
Notes:Twinflower is a circumboreal species with 3 varieties in North America; ours in Minnesota is the American variety, var. americana. It is reported to have been a favorite of Carolus Linnaeus, father of bi-nomial nomenclature, after whom it was named.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Lake and Aitkin counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?