E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Linnaea borealis subsp. longiflora L. (Torr.) Hultén
twinflower (longtube twinflower)
Caprifoliaceae (Valerian family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Eric Marshall  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #16531)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Linnaea borealis subsp. longiflora
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Species Information

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Evergreen, creeping, semiwoody herb or subshrub; stems long, slender, weakly rooting, thinly hairy and often also glandular, producing numerous short (less than 10 cm tall), more or less erect, leafy stems or branchlets with 2-4 pairs of leaves.
Opposite, simple, short-stalked, egg-shaped to nearly circular, with a few shallow teeth along the upper half, 7-25 mm long, 5-15 mm wide, leathery, dark green above, paler below, glabrous or the stalks and margins of the leaf bases often fringed with long hairs.
Inflorescence of nodding pairs of flowers on slender, erect, Y-shaped stalks that terminate the leafy branchlets; base of flowers cradled by two tiny bracts; corollas slenderly funnel-shaped, 9-16 mm long, pink to whitish, flaring above to 5 lobes, hairy in the throat; styles about as long as corollas, with a tiny knoblike stigma; stamens 4.
Dry 1-seeded achenes (nutlets), flanked by a pair of tiny glandular bracts.
Two subspecies occur in BC:

1. Corollas 9-11 mm long, narrowly bell-shaped, flaring from within the calyces, tubes very short or sometimes absent................... ssp. borealis

1. Corollas 10-16 mm long, funnel-shaped, tubes about equalling or surpassing the calyces...................ssp. longiflora (Torr.) Hult.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic forests in the lowland and montane zones; ssp. longiflora common throughout BC; ssp. borealis infrequent in extreme NW BC; ssp. borealis - circumboreal, N to AK and YT, ssp. longiflora - N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to IN, NM and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Linnaea borealis subsp. americana (Forbes) Hultén ex R.T. Clausen
Linnaea borealis var. longiflora Torr.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References