Friday, March 21, 2014

Flower Friday: Consider twinflower for lawn replacement

Twinflower (Dyschoriste oblongifolia)   

If you are tired of mowing, watering and fertilizing the lawn, and fighting chinch bugs and other lawn pests, consider replacing your turf grass with twinflower, an easy-to-care-for native groundcover.   

As the name suggests, twinflower has a pair of lavender flowers that occur throughout the year. The perennial plant has trumpet-shaped lavender flowers about 1 1/2 inches wide with five lobes. The bottom lobe bears dark purple spots. Its leaves are directly connected to the stems, oval and opposite. As an added plus, twinflower attracts bees and is the host plant for the common buckeye (Junonia coenia) butterfly.

Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Hardiness: Zones 8-11
Soil: Acidic, well-drained, sandy soils
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
Growth habit: This fast-growing, ground-hugging plant will grow to a height of 6 to 12 inches. The plant spreads rapidly by underground runners and from seeds, which are spread when the seed capsules split open.
Garden tips: Twinflower is exceptionally adaptable to the home garden. Plants should be closely spaced in order to cover an area effectively. Although drought tolerant, extended dry periods will harm the plant; it will be necessary to water occasionally.

Learn more about where twinflower occurs naturally.

- Dena Wild 

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