Family:     Orchidaceae (orchid family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     10 - 25 cm (4 - 10 in)

Blooming: May - July


Large TwayBlade Orchid 

Liparis liliifolia (L.) Rich. ex Ker Gwl.

Stem: single and erect, green and often with a purple-brown tinge sometimes with a slight wing.


Flowers: purple and pale green.  The spatula-shaped lip is large relative to the rest of the petals getting as large as 1.3 cm (0.5 in) long and 1 cm (4 in) wide.  There can be up to 31 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 18 cm (7 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.  The leaves look oily.

Fruit: several erect capsules longer than the pedicels



Bonap map - Liparis loeselii

Consortium of Midwest Herbaria - Liparis liliifolia

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.

Comments: Large twayblade orchid is closest resembling its cousin, yellow widelip orchid, with the latter species occurring in wetlands whereas large twayblade orchids are restricted to uplands.  Large twayblade 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.

Etymology: The genus, Liparis, is derived from the Greek word, liparos, meaning "oily" or "greasy".  The species name liliifolia means "lily-leaf".

Liparis liliifol.JPGa
Liparis liliifolia flower.JPG

all photos by Nathanael Pilla