Twin Flower

Botanical Name: Linnaea borealis

En français: Linnée boréale

Twinflower (Linnaea borealis) is a plant found throughout the northern hemisphere in circumboreal habitats. Twinflower occurs across the northern hemisphere from Siberia to Sweden and across North America. Borealis means “northern”.

In Canada, Linnaea borealis longiflora is considered of conservation significance in the Yukon Territory, along the eastern edge of its range.

The twin flower has sweet-smelling blooms and attracts bees.

After the flowers have faded, the evergreen leaves stay on the plant over winter, underneath the snow.


Width: Up to 2 feet (70 cm)

Water: Keep moist. Will not tolerate drought.


Native to Eastern Canada

Best Soil: Flexible. Moist soil, sandy soil, peaty soil. pH 4.0 to 5.

The twin flower likes shade to part sun. They make great ground cover in woodland gardens.

Its natural habitat: Forests, meadows, lakes, rivers, dry slopes in the mountains..

The twin flower has tiny pink bell-shaped flowers that sit atop a Y-shaped stem. They are in the family Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle). It is a perennial that blooms from June to September.

Propagating Linnaea borealis

Seeds are hard to collect but they don’t need any cold treatment to sow. They can be sown in the fall or the spring. They are great ground cover plants but they need room to grow.

Caring for Twin Flower

Twin flower plant care is easy. They do not do well in extreme moisture or drought. The best way to propogate them is through stem cuttings in late spring.

Pruning Linnée boréale

Although twin flowers reproduce through underground runners and spread easily, they are not considered aggressive and are often taken over by other plants. If you want to use them as ground cover, you should give them enough room to spread if you want them to multiply.


No common pests or diseases.

It was named for Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), the father of modern botany, who liked the flower so much he had his portrait painted with it. He was responsible for naming of around 8,000 plants, as well as many animals and the scientific designation for humans: Homo sapiens. The naming of Linnaea borealis was not done by Carolus himself, but rather friend and teacher Jan Frederik Gronovious in his honour.


Linnaea borealis

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