Twinflower – Dyschoriste oblongifolia

Blossoming purple this fall is Florida native Dyschoriste oblongifolia (Twinflower).  According to Atlas of Florida Plants, Twinflower occurs from Jackson County north to Collier County south where it is commonly found growing in sandhills and flatwoods in soils that are not overly well-drained.  Twinflower is commonly sold at native plantwinflowert nurseries and is quite adaptable to home landscapes. Typically never reaching more than an inch high, Twinflower makes a lovely groundcover as long as periods of drought are not excessively long.  However, Twinflower (Dyschoriste oblongifolia) is not a wetland plant and does tolerate short periods of drought.  When used as a grass alternative, space the plants close together in large groups for best effect and to adequately fill in the area.  Also, keep in mind that Twinflower can be semi-dormant in winter with a sparse appearance.  The flowers are usually held in pairs as the common name suggests and typically appear from late spring into early winter.  Twinflower is very useful in the wildlife or butterfly garden where it serves as the larval host for the Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) butterflfullsizerender-1y.  In the right situation, this plant will spread swiftly, primarily by underground runners, but also by seed and is not considered to be aggressive.

There are two other Dyschoriste species that are native to Florida.  Dyschoriste angusta (Pineland Twinflower) and Dyschoriste humistrata (Swamp Twinflower).  D. angusta naturally occurs in pinelands and prairies and can be found for sale at some native plant nurseries.  To my fullsizerenderknowledge, I am not aware that D. humistrata is being cultivated or offered for sale.  To find Dyschoriste oblongifolia (Twinflower) or Dyschoriste angusta (Pineland Twinflower) at a native plants nursery near or in your county, visit Florida Association of Native Nurseries HERE.

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