Twinflower (Linnaea borealis)

Twinflower (Linnaea borealis)

Bloom time: May – July

Additional photos:

General: Twinflower is a creeping, semi-woody perennial.

Leaves & Twigs:The tiny leaves (15 mm long) are nearly circular, with a small notched tip. While twinflower leaves are similar to those of bearberry, they can be differentiated by the presence of the notch and the fact that the leaves emerge in pairs.

Flowers & Fruits

  • Twinflowers have tiny (9-16 mm) pink, bell-shaped flowers that occur in pairs on Y-shaped stalks.
  • The dry, one-seeded fruits have small hooks to help their dispersal.
  • After the flowers and fruits have faded, the evergreen leaves remain on the plant, often hidden under the winter snow.

Habitat: Twinflower grows in forested areas, meadows and near lakes and rivers. It can tolerate shady conditions.

PlantWatch Pointers: Select a typical patch of plants, if the plants are very abundant, mark off a l-metre-square section to observe.

To Observe:

  • First bloom: when the first flowers are open in the observed plants.
  • Mid bloom: when 50% of the flowers are open in the observed plants.

Distribution Map:

Distribution Map

This species is monitored in:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

The delicate twinflower is named after Carl Linnaeus, the founder of our scientific naming system.