Torenia, or wishbone flower, is a colorful, modest-sized plant that thrives in shade and hot, humid weather as a result of its original habitat in Vietnam. The common name comes from the two yellow stamens that arch over the center of the petals.
: Torenia forms a compact mound about 1 foot high with many branches. Leaves are oval or heart-shaped. The flowers look a bit like open-faced snapdragons with prominent markings on the petals. The most predominant color in the past was blue, but new varieties are pink, rose, light blue, and white. Most carry yellow, but some may have deep blue or purple markings.
: Torenias grow best in rich, moist, well-drained soil. They're widely used in frost-free areas for winter and spring display. Elsewhere, they thrive during summer in partial shade. They like high humidity and won't tolerate being dry. Plant outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. Space 6 to 8 inches apart.
: By seed. Sow seeds 10 to 12 weeks prior to outdoor planting. The seeds are tiny; they are more easily sown evenly if mixed with a pinch of sugar before sowing. Germination takes 10 to 15 days at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
: Torenia is a good addition to plants that bloom well in semi-shade. Plant them in groups of three or more in woodland bowers; grow clumps along paths or walkways. Because it grows evenly, it's a good candidate for formal beds in sun or partial shade. Torenia is well-adapted to containers.
elated species: Torenia concolor is a tender trailing perennial. Its flowers are blue to purple without markings.
elated variety: Clown Mixture has flowers of blue, light blue, rose-pink, and white.
: Torenia fournieri