Index- plants in this Family
Orchidaceae / Orchid
Lily-leaved Twayblade (Liparis liliifolia)
Lily-leaved Twayblade is also known as Brown Widelip Orchid, Large Twayblade, Lily Leaved Orchid and Mauve Sleekwort.

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach 25cm in height (10inches).
Leaves: This plant has basal leaves only. Leaves can reach 15cm in length (6inches). Leaves can be as wide as 6 cm (2.4inches). The two ovate, entire leaves appear to clasp the scape
Flowers: The flowers are irregular in shape . They are mauve, green and purple. Blooms first appear in mid spring and continue into early summer. The flowers are in a loose raceme. The mauve lip is nearly as wide as long, tapers toward the base, has a small point and is translucent. There are two narrow green sepals under the lip that extend to just beyond the lip and can usually be seen through the lip. Two purple lateral petals are thread like and tend to droop. The peduncle is deep purple.
Habitat: Open woods and borders.
Range: Minnesota to New Hampshire south to Oklahoma northern Georgia and northwestern South Carolina.

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The genus name Liparis comes from the Greek word "Liparos", which means fat or greasy and may refer to the sheen of the leaves or the fact that the leaves tend to be wide or "fat". Liliifolia means "lily foliage" and refers to the leaves being somewhat like that of some lilies.

The attractive but small and delicately colored flowers of this orchid are inconspicuous and must be viewed closely to appreciate their beauty. It seems to occur in a variety of soil conditions and may be much more common than thought due to the difficulty in spotting it. It is found in the mountains and the coastal plain but the counties in which it is known to exist are scattered.

Similar Species: There are perhaps three hundred species of Liparis world wide but only a few in our area. The leaves may be very much alike but the flowers will not be confused with this species.

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Cedars of Lebanon Tennessee State Park

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Lily-Leaved Orchid (Liparis liliifolia) - close view of flower  © Daniel Reed

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Monocots / One Seed Leaf



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