Neottia borealis (Northern Twayblade) - photos and description

















General: Small orchid with two opposite leaves mid-stem, characteristic of genus Listera. Stems are hairy above the pair of leaves and glabrous below the pair of leaves.

Leaves: The leaves are opposite, ovate to elliptic, leaf highlighted in photo was 4 cm long and 2 cm wide.

Flowers: The flowers are borne in a raceme, are pale-green to yellowish green, and have a two-lobed lower lip, the lower lip with a dark stripe in its middle. The lateral petals and sepals are filiform and reflexed. We counted up to 11 flowers on one plant. Flowers were measured to 11 mm long, the lower lip to 9 mm long.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 25 cm, we measured plants to 13 cm tall.

Habitat: Mossy, wet, coniferous woods in the boreal forest and Cypress Hills.

Abundance: Rare, ranked as an S3 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre, this plant has been very rare in our experience.

Origin: Native.

Synonym: Listed in some of the field guides we use as Listera borealis.

When and where photographed: Photos taken mossy black spruce woods June 16th, June 20th, and June 24th in Duck Mountain Provincial Park, about 300 km north east of Regina, SK, and June 30th, July 5th in the Nisbet Provincial Forest, about 350 km north of our home in Regina, SK.