Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wild Flower Wednesday: Twinflower

Two pairs of Twinflowers: Linnaea borealis
Personally, I tend towards liking the smaller things in life. If given the choice between a dinner-plate dahlia and a tiny and delicate wildflower, I'd choose the latter every time. I guess it's good I didn't try to earn my living as a gardener. That would be especially true here, because I have not done very well by this tiny beauty.
Twinflower thriving under aspen
Twinflower is a relative of honeysuckles and snowberries, both of which may feature in some future Wednesday Wildflower. They are interesting plants, but pale in comparison to their tiny cousin. My particular HBG experiment came via an accidental severing of a Twinflower while taking a soil sample. I couldn't bear to toss it out, so I've tried to nurture it along. Maybe the soil isn't acid enough, or maybe some essential mycorrhiza didn't make the transition, but my plant barely made it through the last two winters. It's not happy. I'd suggest trying a nursery bred plant if your are interested, and if you can find one.
Thrips like Twinflower too
I'm not alone in liking Twinflower. It is claimed that the great systematist Linnaeus also loved the plant, and apparently coerced a colleague into naming it after him. Wikipedia has what seems to be an informative write-up - and a great picture of Linnaeus mugging with the flower. The subtle attractions of the Linnaea continue into modern times and I especially like this doubly twinned vignette.

1 comment:

  1. Very sweet looking. I, too, prefer the smaller, more delicate flowers with a few exceptions. Bell-shaped flowers are, by far, my favourite.

    I've never seen these before. Thanks for sharing. :)