E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Neottia cordata
heart-leaved twayblade
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Rod Innes  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6654)

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Distribution of Neottia cordata
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from slender rhizomes, with fibrous roots; stems 7-25 cm tall, with 2 leaves, smooth or slightly hairy above.
Two, usually below middle of stem, opposite, broadly egg- to kidney-shaped, 1-4 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, smooth, heart-shaped at base, abruptly pointed at tip.
Inflorescence a few- to several-flowered, terminal raceme, the flowers yellowish-green to pur plish or maroon; sepals 2-3 mm long, egg-shaped; petals similar to sepals, 1.5-2.5 mm long; lip 3-6 mm long, linear to oblong, deeply cleft into 2 linear-lanceolate lobes, with 2 awl-like teeth at base; column 0.5-1.5 mm long.
Capsules, spreading, egg-shaped, 4-6 mm long.
Some authors have recognized two varieties, the northwest cordilleran var. nephrophylla and the widespread, circumboreal var. cordata, based on leaf size and flower colour and size. But we concur with Calder & Taylor (1968) that there is significant overlap in these characters and in the range of the forms, thus distinct taxa are not warranted.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist forests, bogs and thickets in the lowland to subalpine zones; common throughout BC, except infrequent north of 56 degrees N; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, MI, WI, MN, NM, UT, NV and CA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Listera cordata (L.) R. Br.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References