Neottia cordata
heart-leaf twayblade

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington, but chiefly west of the crest; Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, further east across Canada to the Great Lakes region and northeastern North America.

Habitat: Humus-rich, often damp, forest understory, sometimes along streams, from low to middle elevations.

Flowers: May-August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Herbaceous perennials, terrestrial, 5-33 cm tall; stems succulent, green to reddish purple, glabrous to inflorescence, cauline bracts enclosing stem at base; roots fibrous.


Leaves generally 2, opposite, sessile; blades widely or narrowly ovate-cordate or deltate, 0.9-2 cm long and 0.7-2 cm broad, apex mucronate, glabrous.


Inflorescence terminal bracteate raceme, 2-10 cm, slender; floral bracts ovate, 1-1.5 mm long and 1 mm broad, glandular-pubescent; peduncle and rachis glandular-pubescent or becoming glabrous; flowers 5-25, light or yellowish green, or reddish purple, resupinate; pedicel narrow, 2-3 mm, glandular-pubescent; dorsal sepal somewhat oblong, 2-3 mm long and 1 mm broad, apex obtuse; lateral sepals somewhat oblong, slightly sickle-shaped, 2-3 mm long and 0.5-1.5 mm broad, apex obtuse; petals elliptic to oblong-linear, 1.5-2.5 mm long and 0.5-1 mm broad, apex obtuse; labellum linear-oblong, separated into 2 long and slender lobes by cleft ½-2/3 its length, 3-4 mm long and 1-1.5 mm broad; disc with 2 spreading linear lobes, each apex acute; column 0.5 mm long and 0.5 mm broad; anther on upper side of column near apex; pollinia 2, yellow, soft; ovary pedicellate, glabrous.


Capsules, slightly erect, 5 mm long and 4 mm broad, nearly globose.

Accepted Name:
Neottia cordata (L.) Richardson
Publication: De Orchid. Eur. 37. 1817.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Bifolium cordatum (L.) Nieuwl.
Diphryllum cordatum (L.) Kuntze
Distomaea cordata (L.) Spenner
Listera cordata (L.) R. Br. [FNA26, HC]
Listera cordata (L.) R. Br. var. cordata [FNA26]
Listera cordata (L.) R. Br. var. nephrophylla (Rydb.) Hultén [FNA26]
Ophrys cordata L.
Pollinirhiza cordata (L.) Dulac
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Neottia cordata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Neottia cordata checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Neottia cordata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Neottia cordata photos.

USDA Plants: Neottia cordata information.

47 photographs:
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