The native plant, Swamp Twinflower, Dyschoriste humistrata, is a herbaceous perennial that resides in forested wetlands in the northern and central counties. Humistrata does not grow naturally in the southern counties including Lee County. This low-lying plant has multiple trailing reddish stems that can be several feet in length forming a dense mat. Ovate to elliptic leaves grow opposite on the stems. Leaves can reach 1½ inch in length and ½ inch width. Leaf margins are a little wavy.
Solitary flowers appear in the leaf axils. The corolla has five petals that are fused at the base forming a deep throat housing four male stamens and a single white female style that reaches beyond the opening of the throat. The corolla is colored a pale lavender with white stripes that lead to the throat. The fruit is an elongated capsule with 1 to 2 seeds.
There are two other species in the genus Dyschoriste also native. Humistrata grows natively in two other Southern states in addition to Florida.
I was able to acquire a humistrata at the Native Plant Society’s nursery at the Koreshan State Park. Native plants are sold by Society members at the Farmer’s Market on Sundays. My humistrata is comfortably growing in my garden.