Listera australis
Southern Twayblade

Location New York State and coastal plain areas from Nova Scotia to the Gulf States. Ontario and Quebec are at the northern edge of its distribution.
Specific Habitat

Peat bogs, among mosses. Grows above the water level in sphagnum, also on the fen floor and on the sides of hummocks around trees. There is very little competing shrub cover where the orchid occurs.

Flowering Season

Beginning of June to June 21st.


Height 14 - 21 cm. ( 5 - 8"). Stem brown.
Leaves: two, ascending, sub-opposite. 7 - 16 flowers. Lip brownish red to grayish ruby with grayish green to grayish yellow translucent center. The lip has a very deep notch, separating two long, pointed lobes.


Correll (1950) declared this probably the rarest orchid to be found in Eastern Canada. Some plants at Alfred Bog, rare in Ontario and Quebec. In 1973 over 40 plants were found scattered in Alfred Bog in Prescott County (Ottawa Region) and more sites were discovered in northern Simcoe County, Muskoka, Algonquin, and Killbear Provincial Park (Whiting & Catling, 1986).


Orchids of Ontario
The Canadian Field-Naturalist Vol III - 1


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