Linnaea borealis
(Western Twinflower)

Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Dipsacales
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Family Description:
Key Characteristics:
Mat forming, creeping, semi-woody , evergreen shrub; vertical naked peduncles 3-10 cm tall terminating in two divergent, pink flowers; no stipules
  • stems may be more than 1 meter long, creeping across the ground surface
  • opposite, orbicular to obovate, often crenate at apex 7-20 mm long, 5-15 mm wide, somewhat pubescent, evergreen, short petiolate
  • regular, nodding terminal in pairs on peduncles 3-10 cm tall
  • 5 calyx segments 1.5-5 mm long, glandular puberulent
  • 5 pink petals fused into a funnelform corolla 8-15 mm long,
  • 2 short and 2 long stamens attached low in corolla tube
  • small, dry, indehiscent
  • ovoid, glandular, 3-loculed, but two locules bear several aborted ovules, the third contains one pendulous, normal ovule

General Description:
This creeping forest floor plant was a favorite of the famous biologist Carolus Linnaeus and is named in his honor. It has evergreen, oppositely arranged leaves. Each leaf has a few shallow teeth on the upper half only. The stems grow across the soil surface with occasional upright flower stalks. The pendant, pink, funnelform flowers grow in pairs on the tip of 4 inch high flower stalks. These plants usually grow in moist coniferous forests in the mountains.

Circumboreal, Greenland to Alaska, south to West Virginia, Minnesota, New Mexico and California.

Found in wooded areas which are moist & shady.

Named after Carl Linnaeus, 1707-1778 who stated that it was his favorite flower.

Important State References:
No information available at this time
Photos and Information written by Dr. Karl E. Holte,© 2002