CPC Plant Profile: Auricled Twayblade
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Plant Profile

Auricled Twayblade (Neottia auriculata)

2013 © Peter M. Dziuk Photo Credit: 2013 © Peter M. Dziuk
  • Global Rank: N/A
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • State: LB, MB, ME, MI, MN, NB, NF, NH, NY, ON, QC, VT, WI
  • Nature Serve ID: 157791
  • Date Inducted in National Collection:

Listera auriculata, officially known as Neottia auriculata, is a small (2-10 inches tall), perennial Orchid typically found in wetlands or moist woods in the Northern USA and Canada. It produces only two large, oval leaves directly beneath a single flowering stalk. It produces 5-20 small green flowers per flowering stalk in late summer. It is considered globally rare, and is listed as critically imperiled (S1), imperiled (S2) or threatened (S3) by NatureServe in most of its known range. It is primarily threatened by logging and changes in hydrology. (Hoy, 2001; NatureServe, 2017; North American Orchid Conservation Center, 2017; USDA and NRCS, 2017)

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Taxon Neottia auriculata
Authority (Wiegand) Szlach
Family Orchidaceae
CPC Number 2641
ITIS 894743
Common Names Auricled Twayblade
Associated Scientific Names Neottia auriculata | Listera auriculata | Ophrys auriculata | Bifolium auriculatum | Listera auriculata f. trifolia | Listera borealis f. trifolia
Distribution Listera auriculata occurs in the Eastern portion of Northern North America. Its Western limit is Manitoba and Minnesota. Its Southern limit is Wisconsin and Michigan. As of 2016, its global status was assessed as G3, vulnerable, by NatureServe. At the local level, it is listed as Critically Imperiled (S1) or Imperiled (S2) in about half the states and provinces in which is occurs. Globally, only 61 occurrences have been observed since 1989, but large portions of its range have not been surveyed, so the true number of occurrences is unknown.
(Hoy 2001; NatureServe 2017)
State Rank
State State Rank
Labrador S3
Manitoba S1
Maine S2
Michigan S2S3
Minnesota S1
New Brunswick S2S3
Newfoundland S2
New Hampshire S1
New York S1
Ontario S3
Quebec S3
Vermont S1
Wisconsin S1

Listera auriculata grows in a variety of cool, moist habitats. In the Northeastern USA it is typically found on forest riverbanks that are occasionally flooded or scoured by ice. It can also be found sandy stream banks, swamps, calcareous alluvium, or sphagnum bogs.
(Hoy, 2001)

Ecological Relationships

Listera auriculata is typically associated with Alders, which may benefit the orchid by holding the soil in place during flooding events, or through the Alder’s association with Nitrogen-fixing micro-organisms. It is also assumed that L. auriculata requires a fungal partner for seed germination, like many other Orchids. Lastly, this species’ nectar is fairly accessible to any small, flying insect, so pollination is likely possible via a variety of pollinators.
(Hoy 2001; NatureServe 2017)

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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