Liparis liliifolia (L.) L.C. Rich. ex Lindl.

Large Twayblade, Mauve Sleekwort

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Liparis liliifolia f. viridiflora

Liparis liliifolia, commonly known as the Mauve Sleekwort, is distributed throughout much of eastern and central Canada and the U.S., from Oklahoma to Quebec. It has two, dark green, often glossy basal leaves. When it flowers in the spring and early summer, it produces up to 31 dark purple or rarely green flowers, which are distinctive for their wide, flat, and nearly translucent labellum. By contrast, the petals and sepals are long and thin, often drooping away from the flower. It can be found in mesic to moist woodlands, thickets, and forests, including successional forests, mixed pine forests, and occasionally floodplain forests.

Liparis liliifolia is considered globally secure, and is common throughout much of its range. This orchid's distribution is growing in the midwestern U.S., although it is considered rare or endangered in many northeastern states where populations are declining.


Some have speculated that this orchid is pollinated by unspecialized insects and others have reported Pegoplata juvenilis as a pollinator. Since this orchid species has a long column, it is possible that insects with long legs or mouthparts could effectively transfer pollinaria from one flower to another.

Ecosystem Type

Disturbed habitats, forests, shrublands or thickets, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
  • blue to purple
  • green to brown
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
8–12 mm
Sepal length:
8–11.5 mm
Plant height:
4–30 cm
Show All Characteristics

Native to North America


North American Conservation Status & Distribution

Conservation Status

Select a location to view conservation status:

Conservation and Wetland Status
Global Rank Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status At Risk

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data