Torenia, Wishbone Flower, Bluewings

Torenia fournieri

Family: Linderniaceae
Genus: Torenia (tor-EN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: fournieri (for-NEER-eye) (Info)
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:

Dark Blue

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Bessemer, Alabama

Jones, Alabama

Russellville, Arkansas

Springdale, Arkansas

Blackhawk-Camino Tassajara, California

Castro Valley, California

Danville, California

Long Beach, California

San Francisco, California

Boca Raton, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Clearwater, Florida(2 reports)

Daytona Beach, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Key West, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Maitland, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Orange Park, Florida

Port Orange, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Titusville, Florida

Valparaiso, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Augusta, Georgia

Chatsworth, Georgia

Hawkinsville, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Waleska, Georgia

Woodbine, Georgia

Divernon, Illinois

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Harrodsburg, Kentucky

Bossier City, Louisiana

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Independence, Louisiana

Marrero, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Slidell, Louisiana

Bowie, Maryland

Parkville, Maryland

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Park Rapids, Minnesota

Winona, Minnesota

Long Beach, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Franklin, New Hampshire

Browns Mills, New Jersey

Neptune, New Jersey

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Croton On Hudson, New York

Yonkers, New York

Greensboro, North Carolina

Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Taylorsville, North Carolina

Lima, Ohio

Orrville, Ohio

Painesville, Ohio

Tipp City, Ohio

Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Wellston, Oklahoma

Bradford, Pennsylvania

East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Milford, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Baytown, Texas

Conroe, Texas

Daingerfield, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Katy, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Glen Allen, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia

Petersburg, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia(2 reports)

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 5, 2021, Anton15 from Hong Kong,
Hong Kong wrote:

Torenia fournieri grows wild in my garden, they're also sold in pots at garden stores here. The bought ones seem to be more floriferous with larger flowers and a greater variety of colour. The self seeded ones are usually bi-colour, dark violet and blue.
As our climate is extremely humid and warm it grows both in the sun and shade as self seeded plants, no problem.

Major drawback unfortunately is that this plant doesn't like wet feet when it will collapse and rot. This happens in our climate naturally when the monsoon rains arrive. T. fournieri disappears at this time sadly. Fungicide would probably extend their lives but they would need constant applications. Dead heading or light cutting back would also help as they run to seed almost as soon as they've fully burst ... read more


On May 13, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

There are strains with wine red or pink as well as blue-violet flowers.

A reliable annual, one of the few that will bloom well in moderate shade. Not very drought tolerant.


On May 12, 2014, jeepwran from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

Have repeatedly used these as border plants along our front sidewalk. I love them but have not been able to find them anywhere the past several years. Would really like to plant them again, this year.

If anyone knows where/when I can find them in the Minneapolis, MN area, please respond!


On Jul 1, 2013, duvalderay from Boise City, ID wrote:

Wishbone Flowers were my favorite plants in my yard when I lived in Norfolk, VA. Despite being an annual, these would apparently reseed and sprout every year. Tons of blooms and it loved being planted in full sun with low to moderate watering. Flowers would continue blooming until first frost.


On Jul 1, 2013, Virgogardener from Lake Grove, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I'm a gardener by trade and I use this plant for many of my clients. I use it in part shade to full shade situations and in container gardens. I have noticed they don't care to be smothered by other plants in a container but they thrive when it's just them alone in a pot. In the ground they're spectacular and make a great annual groundcover.


On Jun 8, 2011, jmorth from Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

aka as wishbone plant - wishbone visible in bloom.
Good plant for container culture as well as hanging basket. Good in bright shade.


On Aug 21, 2010, passifloralisa from Leander, TX wrote:

I picked up two beautiful Wishbone plants at the Lowes in Cedar Park. They were in full bloom and looked wonderful. The hang tags said they liked moderate moisture and partial sun. I hung them under the eaves on my front porch which gets some sun and watered and misted them daily. For the first few weeks they seemed to do fine and then suddenly started to die. I hadn't done anything differently, but they would start to dry up. I checked the soil with a moisture meter and in different spots the readings were different. I replanted in larger planters made from heavy moss and added some Soil Moist. They're dying. I don't know why. They appear to be drying out despite the soil being moist and rich. I love these plants but I'm hesitant to get more. It's been consistently in the high... read more


On Apr 29, 2010, wildflowertexas from Bedford, TX wrote:

I am concerned.

I had a friend purchase this basket for me yesterday on the 28th. When I picked up the plant it was a little wilted as she had left it in the sun sitting on the entry way. However, she did water the plant.

By this am it had perked up. I moved the plant placing it in a a shady area but that could have gotten some afternoon sun but not alot.

When I got home this evening around 10pm it had wilted completely.

I am confused as to what the needs of this plant is. Everything I read tells of how great this plant is with some wonderful blooms, etc.

Help!!!!!! I did water it once I got home.



On Mar 13, 2010, jennP from Richmond, VA wrote:

I love this plant! I have grown this in pots on my morning sun porch and in an almost completely shade garden on the side of my house. It did beautifully in both locations. I live in an old-growth neighborhood with old trees that tend to introduce diseases and bugs to plants, the plants will be fine one day and suddenly die the next, torenia has managed to withstand all of this while still thriving an looking beautiful.


On Aug 12, 2009, Cibarius from (Doug) Murfreesboro, TN wrote:

My first encounter with this plant was when a volunteer sprout appeared in my vegetable garden, probably from a bird that had paused on a garden stake. I almost pulled it up as a weed. But the leaf looked like mint, and I decided to let it grow a while. With such a neat and compact form, I allowed it continue for a few weeks. Then it blossomed and I was captivated by the unusual, small, blue and white flowers. I began contacting universities by email trying to get an identification of it. One Merel Black at the University of Wisconsin herbarium responded with the name: Torenia fournieri. I read that it could be a successful houseplant. So as the growing season came to an end that year, I prepared a larger pot and wrought iron stand and then took the plant up with a full root ball and trans... read more


On Jul 16, 2009, heathermgilbert from Arlington, TX wrote:

Since the seeds of this plant are so teeny tiny, I just bring mine inside until spring.

These plants are great for cut flower arrangements - lasts for weeks because the unopened buds bloom. Also can be rooted in water.


On Sep 8, 2008, shovelpruner from Augusta, GA wrote:

This is my number one 'go-to' container plant for summer --- have used it in one color by itself (two little 4" nursery pots will quickly fill in a moderate sized container) and as an edge/underplanting to boxwoods in urns. Love it in white with a yellow center. Needs partial shade in my 7b/8a zone and requires consistent watering, but other than that, it is a carefree annual for me. Try it - you'll like it.


On Sep 8, 2008, cpark from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I had big pots of these on my back deck in Raleigh, NC, (27605) for years. They were in deep shade all day until late afternoon, when they were hit with blistering summer sun. They thrived nevertheless; two rows of pots on the railings plus a hanging basket gave me a magnificent curtain of green and purple to shield me from the neighbors.


On Apr 8, 2008, texagof78 from Georgetown, TX wrote:

This plant grows profusely in a pot on my covered patio and is covered with the purple flowers all summer. It gets some morning sun but is mostly in shade all afternoon and evening.
I put it with spearmint, sitting next to my swing so I get the wonderful scent of mint, and they are very happy together.


On Sep 30, 2007, Froudone from Katy, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Oddly enough, I have been pulling these "weeds" out of my beds, but after 10 weeks of going to work and school, my beds got out of control. When I finally had a chance to pull weeds yesterday, I realized that several of my "weeds" were covered in gorgeous purple and white flowers! I NEVER planted these, so they have to be volunteers. They are growing in a north facing bed (getting full sun) on the side of my house and they are quite healthy. I didn't plant them there and didn't really want them (until yesterday I didn't even know what they were) but I definitely won't pull them out now and will be keeping the seed pods!


On Jun 28, 2007, victoria4504 from Parkville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I found this plant at a local K-Mart store with no directions on how to grow it. I thought it was so beautiful that I'd take a chance on it. I was lucky. I planted it in a mostly shaded area in good soil under mulch. It's grown beautifully.

I went to a local plant store to look for more, but only found a variety called "Clown Rose." It claims to be Torenia (Wishbone Flower) and looks identical to the blue variety only it is a deep pink color with a white throat and a bright yellow dot. I bought one and I'll have to let you know if it does as well as the blue.


On Feb 15, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant has self-sown over winter in the cracks between the flagstones of our patio. Was very surprised to see it, but perhaps such a tender plant did this because the patio is a very toasty microclimate that faces south, is shielded from winter winds, and is buttressed from the hill behind it by stone that moderates temperature swings.


On Jul 8, 2006, ShelfLife from Clearwater, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've planted this in our sandy soil and in a container with potting soil... whether because of the richer soil or wetter soil, it definitely prefers the container.

In the ground it was a moderate performer -- perfectly lovely, but required a lot of supplemental waterings. In the container, it has really taken off, has grown much larger and requires much less supplemental watering.

In the ground, there was a lot of wilting under the afternoon sun, but In the container, it gets no morning sun and bears the brunt of full afternoon sun without a single complaint.

And it's ALWAYS full of blooms. Possibly my favorite container plant.


On May 27, 2005, cissyb from Woodbine, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

LOVE THIS PLANT! Viewed as an annual in SE Georgia but it thrived in the greenhouse this past winter. Plant just one and before you know it they are coming up all over the yard. I have never seen anything like it. Each and every flower has a wishbone looking filament inside, hence the name.


On May 18, 2005, Pyrola5 from Bradford, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have grown this plant a couple of times. I bought it from a nursery. They are cute little plants and did quite well.


On May 17, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

These adorable little plants with their unusual little flowers are a wonderful change from Impatiens for a semi-shady location.

I started some from seed indoors one year, & if you plan to ever try it, be forewarned to start them EARLY. Seeds & seedlings are TINY & required time & pampering before reaching a decent planting-out size.

I planted mine out as a border in front of an herb/flower bed in front of my chicken coop run. This area was in full shade during the morning hours, turning to dappled shade in early afternoon, & full sun for just a couple of hours later (3-4-o'clock on). Bedding soil was heavily mixed with composted rabbit manure, & I used a cocoa bean mulch over all. The plants bushed out & bloomed nicely up until the first hard frost.


On May 16, 2005, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

These are nice looking annuals. The first time I tried them, they didn't perform as well as I'd hoped. I planted them in a shady, northern exposure that gets some reflected light from nearby buildings. While impatiens did quite nicely in the same spot, these didn't grow much bigger than 4 inch mounds. They got plenty of moisture, but the climate might have been too cool for them.

I also tried them in a container, where they also looked puny. Frustrated, I pulled them out and planted them in the ground, not caring if they survived. Surprisingly, they thrived and flowered into the fall. I think it was because they were against concrete steps, which absorbed heat and kept the plant warm.

I've since tried the trailing varieties with much greater success.


On Jul 9, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

so delicate looking, very attractive,


On Mar 24, 2004, Ky_Darlene from Harrodsburg, KY wrote:

I had these plants in my flower bed with shrubbery and such. I had never seen them before and I was really happy with them. They were in constant bloom and everyone loved them. They grew well with morning sun evening shade, not a lot of caretaking to them. I am planting them again this year,


On Jan 10, 2004, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.)
I plant these just about every year and they have always been great performers once I learned that in my zone they can tolerant the sun in early spring, but must be in partial shade or full shade in the heat of the summer. They like to be mulched which keeps the soil moist and cool. Due to their small bloom size, they look best in groupings of the same color. Pinch back to promote bushiness and bloom production.

'Summer Wave' torenia can tolorate the sun and heat better than the typical torenia. In addition, they are also hardy to 28 degrees. 'Summer Wave' is a cross between the creeping native species and the typical torenia. It is a fast-grower like the other torenias producing bicolor light and dark blue blooms.

I love these plan... read more


On Jun 8, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

I have this plant grown spontaneously in a pot here in Rio de Janeiro. Probably the seed came along with the earth, and the earth must have came from the south, where itīs cold and this plant grows easily. I was surprised when I saw the flower and noticed that this plant just doesnīt grow here... but it bloomed and produced seeds, but they didnīt germinated.


On Jun 8, 2003, Maudie from Harvest, AL wrote:

For best effect plant these thickly in containers one colour to the pot. Planted in a hanging basket in part shade they are very attractive and easy to grow.


On Aug 30, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Also known as Bluewings. Good for containers, window boxes, hanging baskets. Erect, bushy annual with toothed leaves and tiny blue-purple blossoms with yellow or white throats that resemble trumpets; blooms from summer to the first frost. Needs rich, very moist, well-drained soil and is ideal for a cool greenhouse; plant in shade in hot regions. Pinch shoots of young plants to encourage bushiness. In frost-free areas, plant year-round