Liparis liliifolia (Lily-leaved Twayblade)
|Also known as:||Brown Widelip Orchid, Large Twayblade, Purple Twayblade, Mauve Sleekwort|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; rich mature woods, pine plantations|
|Bloom season:||June - July|
|Plant height:||3 to 10 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: none MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A raceme of 6 to 24 pale purple (in bright light of day) to brownish flowers, about 5/8 inch long, on a purpling ovary and flower stalk. The lower lip is broadly triangular and attended by 2 hanging, purple thread-like lateral petals. The 3 sepals are greenish yellow and slender; the upper is extended back, the lower two extended out below. The column is a little green nose rising at the top.
Leaves and stem:
There are 2 basal leaves, oval-elliptic, gently pointed, 1½ to 9 inches long, up to 3¼ inches wide, shiny on the upper surface, and sheathing lower stem. Leaves and stem are hairless. The stem is angled.
Leaves could be confused with Galearis spectabilis (Showy Orchis), whose range it overlaps and habitats can closely resemble each other, but L. lilifolia prefers more acidic soils and a more open canopy, and the flowers have no resemblance.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken at Pine Bend Bluffs SNA though also found near the City of Blaine water tower
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?