Neottia borealis (Morong) Szlach.

Northern Twayblade

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Listera borealis, Ophrys borealis

Neottia borealis, commonly known as Northern Twayblade, ranges from Alaska southward through the northern Rocky Mountains, and eastward across Canada. The orchid grows in coniferous and mixed hardwood forests, swamps, along streams, tundra slopes, and floodplains.
The plant grows to 26 cm with two opposite leaves near the middle of the stem. The loose raceme has up to 20 pale green, yellow green, or blue green flowers. Lateral sepals and petals are sickle-shaped and bent backward. The labellum is oblong, with the apex cleft into two blunt lobes, and the base dilated into two diverging auricles. Dark green marks the labellum's center line.

Neottia borealis's global rank is apparently secure.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported.

Ecosystem Type

Floodplains, forests, stream bank, swamps, tundra


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is lobed
Main color of labellum:
  • green to brown
  • white
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is lobed
Labellum length:
7–12 mm
Sepal length:
4–7 mm
Plant height:
5–25 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 Apparently Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status Secure

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data