Liparis loeselii
(Linnaeus) Richard ex Lindley
Loesel's Twayblade
Fen Orchid

Location Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan.
Specific Habitat

A variety of habitats: fens, wet sandy meadows, marly and sandy lakeshores, ditches, abandoned gravel pits. It prefers rather sterile, moist conditions, but is also found in old fields and upland deciduous forests.

Flowering Season

June to August.


Height: 4-29 cm., varying with habitat.
Leaves: 2, greyish-green to greenish-yellow, keeled beneath, sheathing the ovoid pseudobulb
Inflorescence: peduncle from the apex of the pseudobulb, fluted, up to 12 greenish flowers in a loose raceme.
Flowers: greyish green in shady habitats to greenish yellow in sunny habitats, growing erect from the stem. Sepals very narrow and slender, petals thread-like, spreading outward; lip oblong, growing outward, then downcurved past the centre.


Easily overlooked because the small yellowish green plants are inconspicuous among the accompanying grasses and sedges. It shows considerable variation in height according to its habitat. Catling (1980b) has noted rain-assisted self-pollination of this species.


Orchids of Ontario
Orchids of the Northeast
The Canadian Field-Naturalist Vol III-1
The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada excluding Florida
The Orchids of Grey & Bruce


© Royal Botanical Gardens, Dr. Donald Gunn Image Collection.