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Listera ovata

Listera ovata
Photo Information
Copyright: anita and mike allsopp (juanit) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 5 N: 270] (1522)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-06-27
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Nikon D40X, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM
Exposure: f/16, 1/80 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Orchids of Europe, Orchids of Great Britain [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-06-29 16:07
Viewed: 3798
Points: 5
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Common Twayblade
Listera ovata
may be re-named: Neottia ovata


The common name probably derives from Old Norse, since the modern Swedish name is Två Blad - two leaves. Most plants do have two dark green, oval leaves borne some way up the stem; rarely there may be three or even five leaves. The glandular hairy stem can be up to 75cm tall. The lax flower spike may have as many as 100 small yellow-green flowers, with a globular ovary set on a long stalk. The upper petals and sepals form a loose hood above the long, forked lip, at the base of which is a nectar-secreting groove.


None, but abnormal flowers, such as those where all three petals resemble a lip, are not uncommon.

None known.

Occupies a wide range of habitats, from grassland and woodlands on both calcareous and mildly acid soils, to coastal dune slacks, limestone pavements and heathland. It also occurs in fens in England, Anglesey and Ireland, where it grows with both Early Marsh-orchids and Southern Marsh-orchids. It can be abundant where it does occur, and sometimes dominates the ground flora.


The rostellum is very fragile and explodes on contact, glueing pollen onto the head of the visiting insect. Pollination has been recorded by male sawflies Tenthredo atra, male springtails Apteris abdominator and male ichneumons Ichneumon insidiosus. Bees are attracted by the nectar in the lip, but are too large to act as pollinators. The period from seed to maturity is long - up to 15 years - but vegetative reproduction by aerial shoots on the long rhizomes is frequent, so that plants of varying maturity stretch out in a line from the parent plant.


No particular conservation concerns.


Widely distributed, often abundant, throughout Great Britain and Ireland, except for Shetland.

Height: up to 75cm
No. of flowers: up to 100


Late April to July

This is a link to BritainsOrchids

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To meyerd: Thankyoujuanit 1 12-20 15:39
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Critiques [Translate]

Bonjour Anita,
C'est un beau résultat pour cette espèce discrète aux fleurs très petites. L'image est instructive, on prend rarement le temps d'observer le détail de ces petites orchidées.

jolie orchodée mais un peu sombre.

Hi Anita and Mike,

I discovered your gallery on the front page of TN. You really know your stuff with Orchids. I want to thank you for this interesting and competent lists "Orchids of Britain and Europe" as well as "Orchids of Puglia". And I wish to say that you also did an excellent job as photographers. Don't worry about the small TN echo you have sometimes, your pictures can and will be accessed by Google "forever" thanks to the keywords you provide in the title and note. May your good works continue!

My best regards to you,

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