Family:     Orchidaceae (orchid family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     6 - 25 cm (2.4 - 10 in)

Blooming: May - July


Yellow wide-lip orchid 

Liparis loeselii (L.) Rich.

Stem: erect sometimes slightly winged.  It is yellowish to pale green.  


Flowers: yellow to pale green.  Aged flowers turn white with a slight yellow to green tinge.  Small flowers lack a spur and do not grow more than 2 cm (0.8 in) long.  The lip is 4-6 mm (0.15-0.26 in) long.  There can be up to 19 small flowers on one stalk.

Leaves: one leaf in sterile plants and two in fertile ones.  The clasping leaves can get quite big, relatively speaking, growing as large as 20 cm (8 in) long and 8 cm (3.1 in) wide.  They are usually slightly folded lengthwise tapering to a wide, blunt point.  The leaves are green and glossy.

Fruit: several erect capsules longer than the pedicels



Bonap map - Liparis loeselii

Consortium of Midwest Herbaria - Liparis loeselii

Michigan Flora - Liparis loeselii

Argue, C.L., 2011. The Pollination Biology of North American Orchids: Volume 2: North of Florida and Mexico. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 202.

Liparis loeselii winter capsule

Comments: Yellow wide-lip orchid is also commonly called Loesel's twayblade.  This species occurs in wetlands whereas the other native twayblad, Liparis liliifolia, is restricted to uplands.  The latter is also self-incompatible, whereas the yellow wide-lip orchid is self-compatible.  Only three species occur in the whole of North America north of Mexico with one restricted to Florida.

Yellow wide-lip orchid is on Indiana's state watch list.  

Etymology: The genus, Liparis, is derived from the Greek word, liparos, meaning "oily" or "greasy".  The specific epithet is derived from the German botanist, Johann Lösel.

Liparis loeselii.JPG
Liparis loeselii leaf.JPG
Liparis loeselii leaf.JPG

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Species Present and Native