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Torenia fournieri

Family Name: Linderniaceae
Common Name: Wishbone Flower, Bluewings, 兰猪耳
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Hanging Basket Ornamental Flowers Annual Woody Creeper Herbaceous

Name

Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Comments

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Herbaceous, Creeper)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual, Semi-Annual / Annual-Like
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 0.2 m to 0.4 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 0.2 m to 0.4 m

Biogeography

Native Distribution Asia
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is an annual herbaceous plant that can grow between 15 to 30 cm tall and has a dense, bushy crown shape. The stamens unite at the anthers in the shape which resembles chicken wishbone, hence the common name.  
Foliage Leaves are light green, ovate shaped, have serrated (toothed) margin, 2-5cm x 1.5-2.5cm, and are slightly hairy.
Stems The stems are glabrous (no hairs). 
Flowers Flowers are borne on terminal clusters above the foliage. They are trumpet shaped, with partially-fused petals. The top 2 petals are completely fused, and are a lighter blue, with the colour intensifying at the apex of the petal. The bottom 3 petals are partially fused, and are darker coloured (dark purple/purplish-blue). The bottom petal forms a "tongue" with a small yellow spot. The 2 stamens are initially fused at the anthers, which makes them resemble a wishbone, hence the common name. The stamens separate when the flower is ready to be pollinated. The calyx has a distinctive fluted shape which resembles a tiny carambola or starfruit.
Cultivation These plants enjoys being in consistently moist and well-drained soils, from partly shaded to fully shaded conditions. Pinch the stem tips to promote bushiness. 
Etymology The genus Torenia is named after Reverend Olof Toren, an 18th century chaplain in India, Surat and China to the Swedish East India Company.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It can be an excellent plant suitable for borders, beds, as well as container planting. Plant them closely together about 15 cm apart for best effect. 
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting, General, Flowerbed / Border, Hanging Basket

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Fertilizing Provide fertilizer high in potassium to promote flowering. 
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting
Propagation Method Remarks If growing from seeds, take care to sow them in trays as they are very fine, and do not cover them as they require light to germinate.

Foliar

Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Green - Light Green
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green - Light Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Purple
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Flowering Period Free-Flowering

Image Repository

Images

Others

Master ID 1223
Species ID 2516
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.
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