The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Twinflower
Linnaea borealis is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.20 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Northern Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to Germany, the Alps and N. Asia.
Woods, especially pine, and in the shade of rocks to elevations of 725 metres in N. Britain[
Prefers a rather shaded position in a rock garden in a moist peaty soil[
]. It grows well in pine woods[
]. Requires an acid soil[
Plants can be rather difficult to establish[
]. The sub-species L. borealis americana grows more freely than the European form.
The plant is polymorphic[
The flowers have an evening fragrance like that of the honeysuckle[
A food plant[
]. No more details are given.
The plant has been used as a tonic in pregnancy and also in the treatment of painful or difficult menstruation[
The mashed plant is used as a poultice on inflamed limbs and is also applied to the head to ease the pain of headaches[
The plant forms an extensive twiggy mat and is useful as a ground cover on peat beds and in rock gardens[
]. Plants form a dense carpet when growing in god conditions, rooting as they spread, but otherwise the cover is sparse[
]. Plants should be spaced about 60cm apart each way[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame[
]. Sow stored seed as soon as possible, it is likely to require a period of cold stratification. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division of rooted runners in the spring[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood in the summer[
]. They are rather slow to root[