Liparis loeselii (Loesel's Twayblade)
|Also known as:||Yellow Widelip Orchid, Bog Twayblade, Fen Orchid|
|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):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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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:
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.
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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?