The Wishbone flower is a gem. Those who have not tried this annual, nor seen it growing, have a pleasant surprise in store for them if they will raise a few plants. The flowers of Torenia fournieri are violet and lavender with a prominent yellow blotch on the lip. There is a less attractive white variety. In the center, the stamens are arranged in the shape of a wishbone, hence the common name. The pistil in the center is sensitive, and when it is touched, the two lobes gradually close and hold any pollen which may have fallen upon them. The plants grow a foot tall and bloom till late frost.
USE. For close inspection, by virtue of its innate charm, the Torenia is a flower of beauty and interest, although its garden effect is not as showy as that of many other annuals.
GENERAL. The seed is fine and when carefully sown in late March in a sunny window, will give excellent plants that will bloom all Summer. They are tender annuals so the seedlings should not be placed in the open border until the weather is warm. They rather enjoy half shade.
We were interested to read that Florida Torenia is an excellent substitute for the Pansy, which is cultivated with difficulty that far south. Young plants spring up in the rainy season, coming from self-sown seed. It is found abundantly in the sort of moist situations which, in the North, suit Forget-me-nots.
TORENIA (Wishbone flower)
(Named for Olaf Toren, a Swedish clergyman who discovered Torenia asiatica while traveling in China in 1750)