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Liparis liliifolia (Brown widelip orchid)
Cressler, Alan

Liparis liliifolia

Liparis liliifolia (L.) Rich. ex Ker Gawl.

Brown Widelip Orchid, Large Twayblade

Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)


USDA Symbol: LILI3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

An angled stalk rising between 2 large, oval, shiny, basal leaves and bearing several brown to maroon to green flowers.

Three features characterize this small woodland orchid: its brownish-purple flowers, filamentous upper petals, and greasy-looking leaves (from which comes its genus name, derived from the Greek liparos, meaning "fat" or "shining"). An inconspicuous plant, it may be easily overlooked. Another species of Liparis, Fen Orchid (L. loeselii), has a small green lip petal and occurs from Saskatchewan east to Newfoundland, south to North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, west to Arkansas, and north to Missouri, Nebraska, and the Dakotas.


From the Image Gallery

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: Ontario east to Vermont, south to Georgia, west to Oklahoma, and north through Missouri to Minnesota.
Native Habitat: Rich or sandy woods and clearings and on moss along streambanks.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Sandy


Warning: Animals have been poisoned, sometimes fatally, by eating plants in the Linum genus. Humans should generally avoid ingesting plants that are toxic to animals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Additional resources

USDA: Find Liparis liliifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Liparis liliifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Liparis liliifolia


Record Modified: 2014-08-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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