Information on Common Twayblade

Common Name: Common Twayblade
Scientific Name: Listera ovata
Irish Name: Dédhuilleog
Family Group: Orchidaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Common Twayblade is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


One of our most common Orchids, the names Dédhuilleog or Twayblade give a big clue as to the number of leaves on these wildflowers.  They have just one single pair of broad, ribbed, oval basal leaves up to 20cm long with sheathing bases and they appear well before the flowers.  From May through to late August, these green-yellow flowers can be found in loose, slender spikes which can reach 50cm tall.  Each of these flowers, sometimes up to fifty on a spike,  consists of a distinct hood and a long, furrowed, two-lobed lip. They are pollinated by flies and other small insects which enter the flowers in search of nectar and emerge with pollen on their heads, ready to pollinate the next plant. Common Twayblade is a perennial plant with underground rhizomes and can be found on a wide range of soils and habitat such as woods and damp grasslands, dunes, limestone pavements and heathland.  It was formerly known as Listera ovata. Because of its cryptic colouring, it can be easily overlooked.  These are native plants belonging to the family Orchidaceae.     

My first record of this wildflower is in 1981, in The Burren, Co Clare and I photographed it in 2007 also in The Burren.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Twayblade, Common
Twayblade, Common