Linnaea Species, Twin Flower, Twinflower
|Family:||Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)|
|Genus:||Linnaea (LIN-ee-uh) (Info)|
|Species:||borealis (bor-ee-AL-is) (Info)|
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Grown for foliage
under 6 in. (15 cm)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Where to Grow:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Soil pH requirements:
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
By simple layering
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:
Saint Helen, Michigan
On Dec 31, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:
A modest evergreen plant, but lovely on close inspection. The flowers give off a honeysuckle fragrance in the evening.
It needs partial to full shade and an acid soil, pH 5-6, with organic matter. Happiest in the shade of conifers.
Hardy in Z2, it is heat intolerant, and it hates hot summers with nights above 70F. In eastern N. America, this isn’t likely to succeed south of Z6.
Slow to establish. Best propagated by division or layering. Seed germination is impracticably low, and flowering takes over 12 years from seed.
This species is of conservation concern in many places close to the southern limit of its range. In 6 states it is believed to have been extirpated.
On Jul 4, 2011, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:
I bought twinflower this spring from Gardens of Rice Creek, a small specimen of a clone that’s supposed to do well this far south. It isn’t blooming yet; hopefully next year!
On Oct 15, 2010, Where_is_it from Columbia, MD wrote:
Just bought this plant from Munchkin Nursery. Endangered/Extirpated in my state. 🙁
On Apr 23, 2009, PlantGirl1982 from Cedar Rapids, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Please, someone tell me where I can buy this.
On Nov 2, 2008, altagardener from Calgary, AB (Zone 3b) wrote:
This species has a circumpolar distribution. In North America, it occurs from Alaska, the Yukon, Mackenzie District through to Hudson’s Bay, northern Quebec, Newfoundland, and south to California, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Indiana, and West Virginia (ref. Flora of Alberta, Moss & Packer). It is often an abundant understory plant in its preferred habitats (boreal to mixed forest).
On Apr 6, 2002, purpleice from Bridgman, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
Welcome to the famous Dave’s Garden website. Join our friendly community that shares tips and ideas for gardens, along with seeds and plants.
How to Grow Linnaea Plants
Guide to Growing Twinflower
Linnaea are hardy perennial subshrubs that are native to woodlands.
They have small evergreen leaves and carry pink or white fragrant bell shaped twin flowers from the end of spring through to the early summer.
They are ideal plants to grow in a shady part of a rock garden.
A common name for the Linnaea plant is Twin Flowers / Twinflower.
Linnaea Plant Growing and Care Guide
Common Names: Twinflower.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 8 to 16 inches (20 to 40 cm). Prostrate.
Native: Northern America. Europe. Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 1 to 5.
Flowers: Late spring through to early summer.
Flower Details: White, pink. Paired. Bell-shaped. Fragrant.
Foliage: Evergreen. Oval. Small. Opposite.
Growing Outside: Usually grown from cuttings, divided plants or nursery bought plants. Seed: Cover. Late summer to early autumn; use fresh seeds. Spacing 12 inches (30 cm). Transplant outdoors following the last frost or in autumn. Seeds should be sown into flats. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist and to check if seedlings have emerged. Transplant the seedlings to their final location as they emerge.
Requirements and care: Full or partial shade. Soil pH 4.0 to 5.5. Moist soil, sandy soil, peaty soil. Regular watering to maintain a moist soil. Propagate: by dividing or by taking cuttings in the spring.
Miscellaneous: Named after the Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus. Traditionally used by native Americans as a tea.
How to Grow Twin Flowers and other Linnaea in the Garden
It is best to grow twin flowers outdoors from seeds. They should be sown into flats in a shaded part of the garden and covered in glass.
It can take a very long time (years) for Linnaea plants to germinate, so it may be better to buy plants from a garden center (Twin Flowers are easier to propagate from established plants). If/when you manage to get the Linnaea plant seedlings to grow in a flat, then transplant them in either spring or summer into a shady part of the garden, that has a peaty wood soil and is very acidic (pH 4 to 5) that is moist.
Caring for twin flower – Linnaea plants
Once growing it is important to ensure that twin flowers always have moist soil to grow in, so water frequently to stop from drying out. If you require more plants then Linnaea can be divided in the spring or root cuttings can be took.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Linnaea plants. Updated September 2020.
How to Grow Twin Flowers. Advice on Growing Linnaea Plants in Your Garden. Gardeners HQ Plant Growing Guides.