Northern Ontario Plant Database
Linnaea borealis L.
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)
General: A slender creeping perennial dwarf shrub, with erect flowering shoots to 10 cm tall; stems and leaves hairy. The genus Linnaea was named by Gronovius to commemorate Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who devised the binomial system of nomenclature in 1753.
Leaves: Opposite, simple, evergreen, to 2 cm long, short-petiolate; leaf blades broadly oval to obovate; tapering to the base, margins with a few crenate teeth toward the blunt to rounded apex.
Flowers: Bisexual; a pair of nodding, fragrant flowers are borne on a slender, pubescent stalk (peduncle) that divides near the top into two divergent pedicels; calyx-teeth 5, narrow; corolla pink, 8–15 mm long, funnelform, hairy inside, 5-lobed, the lobes often paler and speading; stamens 4, paired, with one pair shorter (didynamous), attached to the corolla (epipetalous) near the base; ovary inferior, compound, hairy, subtended by a pair of small bracts. Flowering from June to July.
Fruit: A small, dry capsule bearing a single seed.
Habitat and Range: Cool, moist woods. Circumboreal; occuring throughout Ontario.
Internet Images: The Linnaea borealis webpage from the Connecticut Botanical Society website.
A brief history of the naming of Linnaea borealis, from the Linnaean Society of London.
– written by Derek Goertz
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