Listera caurina
Piper [Listera retusa] Suksdorf
[Ophrys caurina] (Piper) Rydberg
Northwest Twayblade

Location Alberta, British Columbia.
Specific Habitat

Cool dark coniferous forests, growing in the high dry litter of needles.

Flowering Season

June in the south to September in the far north.


Height 5-25 cm. Stem glabrous below the leaves, pubescent above.
Leaves: 2, opposite, in the middle of the stem; green, ovate to elliptic.
Raceme loosely flowered, up to 25 greenish-yellow flowers. Lip ovate, apex rounded.


This species has long been confused with L. convallarioides which it resembles superficially, but distinctive differences in the flowers exist.. Most specifically, the greenish apex of the lip is broadly expanded and lacks any cleft; behind the dilated apex two longitudinal green stripes run up to a pair of rounded swellings at the lipÕs base which shine as if polished when viewed under a magnifying glass. From them rise a pair of minute horns whose purpose remains a mystery.


The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada excluding Florida

Habitat Plant Flower

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