Twayblade Listera ovata

Status Green - Least concern
Best Time to See June, July
Colour Green, Yellow
Habitat Woodland, Grassland

It is hard to spot this orchid owing to its inconspicuous yellow-green flowers. The flowers grow in a spike up to 25 cm tall. It is best recognised by the twin (or tway) rounded leaves towards the base of the single stem.

It is similar to Lesser Twayblade (Listera cordata) which is shorter and with smaller leaves.


Widespread throughout the UK, but rather rare inland in central and northern Scotland.


Wet woods, dunes and pastures. It is quite common in scrub, woods and grassy places, mainly on calcareous soil.

Best time to see

When in flower, June-July.

Did you know?

Local names include Adder's tongue, Man orchis, Sweethearts and Wild tulip. It is called 'Sweethearts' owing to the pair of broad leaves, set against one another. The names 'Adder's tongue' and 'Man orchis' derive from the forked labellum.