University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #FPS191

Dyschoriste oblongifolia Twinflower1

Edward F. Gilman2


Dyschoriste oblongifolia is a rounded plant that attains a height of 6 to 12 inches. It is commonly used in the landscape as a ground cover and has pretty flowers that are quite striking when closely observed. Twinflower, as the name implies, has paired lavender flowers that occur throughout the year; the heaviest bloom is in May. These plants have a relatively open habit and should be closely spaced in order to cover an area effectively.

General Information

Scientific name: Dyschoriste oblongifolia
Pronunciation: diss-kor-RISS-tee ob-long-if-FOLE-ee-uh
Common name(s): twinflower
Family: Acanthaceae
Plant type: herbaceous; ground cover
USDA hardiness zones: 8 through 11 (Fig. 1)
Planting month for zone 8: year round
Planting month for zone 9: year round
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round
Origin: native to Florida
Uses: ground cover
Availability: grown in small quantities by a small number of nurseries

Figure 1. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Height: .5 to 1 feet
Spread: depends upon supporting structure
Plant habit: round
Plant density: open
Growth rate: fast
Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: unknown
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: unknown
Leaf shape: unknown
Leaf venation: unknown
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: unknown
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: lavender
Flower characteristic: year-round flowering


Fruit shape: no fruit
Fruit length: no fruit
Fruit cover: no fruit
Fruit color: not applicable
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable
Current year stem/twig color: not applicable
Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; sand; slightly alkaline; loam; clay
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerances: poor
Plant spacing: 24 to 36 inches


Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

The twinflower will grow well on acidic, well-drained, sandy soils and prefers a sunny or partially shaded location in the landscape. This ground cover is native to pineland areas in the southeastern United States and will tolerate considerable drought.



This document is FPS191, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.