The Interesting Facts of the Wishbone Flower

wishbone flower

The wishbone flower is also known as the resurrection flower. It is an amazing flower that can grow up to three feet tall in some species and still only needs very little space. This plant gets its name because it looks like a wishbone when you break it apart, thus creating two identical flowers with one coming out of either side of the “V”.

The origins of this interesting plant stem from Mexico and Central America where they are usually found growing along stream banks or other moist soil types. The most commonly grown species has pale yellow petals though there are variations available including pink, orange, red and white varieties. It is unusual to find them in home gardens due to their size but they make the perfect addition to the landscape of any wild area where you would like to see something interesting and unusual.

Here are some facts about wishbone flower

The scientific name:

Wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri), formerly named Torenia, is a native inhabitant in America.


A little girl that is sitting in the grass

Wishbone flower has been used for over 400 years in Chinese traditional medicine and 8000 years ago at least in India to make tea or soup to relieve certain symptoms of colds (such as sore throat and cough).


There were no scientific studies to prove its effectiveness; however, it was included among the 8 herbs tested by scientists from Duke University which demonstrated their analgesic effect on lab rats.


The toxicity of the plant is classified as being practically non-toxic. However, if you have certain pre-existing conditions, you should avoid them.

Side Effects:

Wishbone flower can be used safely to relieve symptoms of colds and coughs that are caused by dryness in the upper respiratory tract.


A close up of a flower

A study done on six traditional Chinese medicinal plants revealed that four out of these six plants contain activeness against breast cancer cells.

Other diseases:

Up to now, there are no scientific studies about other effects or efficacies of this plant; however, some experts believe that it might help with symptoms like fever or arthritis pain due to its action on opioid receptors; the same receptors that are affected by painkillers such as morphine.

Other names:

The wishbone flower is also known as a blue angel, snapdragon, and bluewings.


If pregnant or breastfeeding you should avoid it; however, not taking this herb due to expecting or breastfeeding mothers might cause its effects on child development and/or cause illness in children.


Through studying various parts of this plant it was found out that they contain coumarins, alkaloids, and steroids which can be used for medical purposes.

Toxic if overdose:

The toxicity of this plant depends on the dose you take. An overdose can lead to nausea, vomiting, and circulatory collapse.


They are easily grown in moist, fertile, or sandy soils which have full sun exposure or partial shade.


The wishbone flower has been traditionally used for a long time in northern America and China. Scientific studies have not proved all of its efficacies but there is strong evidence that might support the effectiveness of this plant to treat some illnesses such as colds or breast cancer. However, more studies should be done in order to prove these claims.

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