Heart-leaved Twayblade – Listera cordata

Orchid Family – Orchidaceae

Actual flower size: 1/4 inch across

Actual flower size: 1/4 inch across

Plant Description: Heart-leaved Twayblade is 3 to 8 inches tall and has a pair of leaves located opposite each other about half way up the stem and a raceme of 5 to 16 green or occasionally, reddish-brown flowers at the top.  The leaves are broad and heart-shaped with sharply pointed tips.

Flower Description: The lower petal of this orchid is of similar size (about 1/4 inches long) and color as the sepals and the other two petals, but it is split almost in two, forming a pair of pointed, slender prongs, and the teeth at the base resemble a pair of tiny buffalo horns. The stamens and pistil are fused to form a column.

Ecology: Heart-leaved Twayblade grows in moist, wet areas, at low to subalpine elevations. It is often half submerged in the moss covering the ground. It is not abundant, but is widespread.

Note: The flowers of Heart-leaved Twayblade have a bad odor which attracts certain insects.

Heart-leaved Twayblade Photo Gallery

Photo information: #3003 was taken on June 1, 2002 on the Rattlesnake Ledge Trail, I-90 exit 32, North Bend, WA;  ;#4157 and  #4152 were  taken May 3, 2009 in Donna’s Garden;   #1988 and   #1987 were taken on July 14, 2012 on the Beckler Peak Trail, Hwy 2, Skykomish, WA.