Linnea Memorial Foundation

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Linnea Flower

The Linnea flower is a delicate and subtle flower, with its soft pink hue and dainty petals. Life is also a delicate flower that needs to be cherished, as so easily its petals can be crushed.

Linnaea borealis



  • Linnaea, after Carolus Linnaeus – the “Father of Modern Taxonomy”
  • borealis, from the Latin “of the North”
  • Common Name, a reference to the paired flower cluster
  • Other common names include Linnée (Qué), Linnea, giktgräs (Swe), Linnea (Nor), Linnæa (Dan), Vanamo (Fin), Moosglöckchen (Ger), Lus Linneuis (Gaelic), Zimozió³ pó³nocny (Pol)


  • Kingdom Plantae, the Plants
    • Division Magnoliophyta, the Angiosperms (flowering plants)
      • Class Magnoliopsida, the Dicotyledons
      • Subclass Asteridae
        • Order Dipsacales
          • Family Caprifoliaceae, the Honeysuckles, with Diervilla (Bush Honeysuckles), Lonicera (True Honeysuckles), Sambucus (Elderberries), Symphoricarpos (Snowberries), and Viburnum (Viburnums)
            • Genus Linnaea, Twinflower
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 35314


  • A native, creeping broadleaf evergreen shrublet, 4″ – 6″ tall.
  • Leaves round, opposite; persisting for two years.
  • Stems creeping or trailing, with numerous short aerial stems rising from the stolon. With time, stolons may become shallowly buried beneath litter and duff layers; aerial stems become woody with age but rarely exceed 1/8″ in diameter.
  • Roots shallow, fibrous network, within and slightly below the duff layer. Root crown positioned at or just beneath the duff or soil surface.
  • Flowers pink, bell-like in pairs; very fragrant. Blooms June through September over most of its range. Flowers last about 7 days.
  • Fruit a small, dry, one-seeded capsule, maturing approximately 36 days after flowering.


  • Unmistakable whenin bloom; there is nothing else like it in the northwoods.
  • Small round leaves and ground hugging linear growth habit distinguish it from other shrublets.


  • Circumboreal


  • Open shade
  • Dry or moist sites in pine woods
  • Sandy, acid soil (pH 5 to 6)
  • Twinflower grows in soils derived from a variety of parent materials. Soil texture and nutrient levels also vary, and soil moisture levels range from xeric to hydric.


  • Vegetative reproduction by stolons primary method of regeneration. First produces stolons at 5 – 10 years of age.
  • Sexual reproduction uncommon, but seedlings are occasionally found in burned or other disturbed areas.
  • Pollination by native bees and syrphid wasps; rarely are plants self-fertile. Produces abundant seed, which does not persist in seedbanks.
  • Seed attaches to the fur, hides, or feathers of animals, which serve as dispersal agents.


  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3 (average minimum annual temperature -40ºF)
  • No known cultivars
  • Very slow to establish

Fun Facts:

  • The name of a small pink mountain flower that was named after the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, inventor of the universally recognized system of classifying plants and animals.
  • Carl Linnaeus named his favorite wild flower, a beautiful pink twinflower, after himself.
  • Linnaeus took this flower as his own personal symbol when he was raised to the Swedish nobility in 1757.
  • The linnea flower is the province flower of Smaland in Sweden.
  • The national flower of Sweden
  • Used by Native Americans to brew tea
  • The word “linnea” is of Scandinavian origin and literally means lime or linden tree
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