Pineland Twinflower, Beach Botany

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The  Pineland Twinflower, Dyschoriste angusta, is an herbaceous perennial that is endemic to Florida. It is also a very small plant. Angusta grows on a single stem to height of about 4 to 8 inches. Sometimes there are a few branches. Leaves are opposite on the stem. Leaf shape is linear spatulate (spoon) in shape. Leaves are 1 inch long and ¼ inch wide. Margins entire. Leaves are sessile (without petioles).

Flower’s calyx has five needle-like sepals that point upward supporting the corolla. The corolla has five wide petals. A tube at the center of the corolla holds five stamens and one female style. Color is a dark blue to purple and sometimes white. Flowers grow from the leaf axils. Inflorescence is solitary. Flower diameter is about 3/8 of an inch. Fruit is a 10mm capsule holding 1 to 2 brown seeds. Blooming occurs spring and summer,

Angusta habitats are uplands, sandhills, flatwoods and the Everglades in Southern counties and a few counties in the Central peninsula. The family is the Acanthaceae (Acanthus) family. The Genus Dyschoriste, has two other species: D. oblongifolia, Oblongleaf Twinflower and D. humistrata, Swamp Twinflower. The specimen in the picture was found in Everglades National Park.

 

Photo by James Rodwell