Liparis loeselii (Loesel's Twayblade)

Plant Info
Also known as: Yellow Widelip Orchid, Bog Twayblade, Fen Orchid
Family:Orchidaceae (Orchid)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; wet meadows, fens, swamps, along shores
Bloom season:June - July
Plant height:3 to 10 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: OBL MW: FACW NCNE: FACW
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: irregular Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] A raceme of 3 to 19 glowing, greenish yellow flowers, less than ½ inch long. Flowers are a spidery array of 3 pale sepals and 2 thread-like petals set about a wider, curled lower lip and a pollinia tipped center column

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] There are 2 basal leaves, oblong-elliptic, gently pointed, 1½ to 9½ inches long, up to 1½ inches wide, glossy on the upper surface, and sheathing lower stem. Leaves and stem are hairless. The stem is angled.


The leaves might be confused with L. lilifolia, but Loesel's Twayblade is almost always on wetter sites. Note that the “postage stamp” remnant where some of these images were taken is dying, due to deer food clover mix from a sportman's department being carelessly tossed on it. So not only is the deer overpopulation problem made worse, but the site is now being overrun with weedy invasives. It just goes to show that good intentions can backfire if there isn't much thought put into it.

Please visit our sponsors

  • Minnesota Goose Garden

Native Plant Nurseries, Restoration and Landscaping Services ↓

Map of native plant resources in the upper midwest

  • Landscape Alternatives
  • ReWild Native Gardens
  • Shop for native seeds and plants at!
  • Shooting Star Native Seeds - Native Prairie Grass and Wildflower Seeds
  • Morning Sky Greenery - Native Prairie Plants

More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken on Red Lake peatlands north of Washkish, and from a postage stamp remnant in Lino Lakes


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Eric - Uppgaard WMA, Crosslake, MN
on: 2014-06-07 11:45:41

I think I may have spotted this plant at Uppgaard Wildlife Management Area. Didn't see any leaves but leaf litter surrounding it so they may be hidden. Going back to check it out!

Posted by: Phyllis - Hubbard County,CR 96 about 1/2 mile west of CR 3
on: 2015-07-03 14:19:16

With MOU birding group led by Kim Eckert and Craig Mandell. Craig spotted it on the edge of the road. June 18 or 19.

Posted by: Steven - Empire Lake, Whitetail Woods, Dakota County Park 7/18/2015
on: 2015-08-06 06:49:07

photo was submitted to Mark Gernes at MPCA, who made ID

Posted by: Terri Dinesen - Chippewa County -Watson Sag
on: 2020-06-21 14:41:10

Found with Northern Green Bog Orchid, porcupine sedge, small white lady slippers, and many other cool plants!

Posted by: Owen S - Sunfish Lake
on: 2020-07-20 11:30:40

I found a single plant on a thick sedge mat. There might have been more but it was very hard to walk through and the cattails were very very thick in places. I also found many L. lilifolia in a different part of the same part 48 acre property I was on which was interesting.

Posted by: Becky Hart - Credit River, MN
on: 2022-06-20 11:46:59

Found in a grouping of 3 plants on my property (wooded acreage) near Prior Lake, MN. Located near a roadside drainage ditch in an area with milkweed, grasses and giant ragweed. I haven't observed this plant before nor have I seen any other ones nearby. A very distinctive little plant.

Post a comment

Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission.

For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc.), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources.


Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Thanks for your understanding.