Torenia wishbone flower

Height 10-30cm (4-12in)

Planting distance 15-23cm (6-9in)

Flowers mid summer to early autumn

Moist garden soil

Partial shade

Half-hardy annual

The wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri) takes its common name from the shape of the stamens in the throat of the trumpet-shaped flowers. These are borne in such profusion throughout summer as to almost hide the pointed and finely toothed, pale green leaves. The flowers are bicoloured, with violet-purple lips and throats of lilac-purple with yellow splashes.

The wishbone flower is valued by gardeners for its exotic blooms and for its preference for shade. It is suitable for bedding schemes and also makes a fine pot plant.

A few seed varieties are available, including the small ‘Pink Panda’ which grows 10-20cm (4-8in) high; the flowers are a blend of white and cerise-pink.

Cultivation

Sow the seeds in early spring in pans of compost at a temperature of 18°C (64°F), just covering them. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them off singly into small pots; harden them off’ in a cold frame before planting out in early summer.

Wishbone flowers thrive in any good, moist soil and need a sheltered and shaded site. Pinch out the growing tips on the young plants to encourage bushy growth.

Pests and diseases

Trouble free.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Torenia wishbone flower

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