Information on Lesser Twayblade

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


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


Previously known as Listera cordata, Lesser Twayblade is a very small, perennial plant. Only reaching about 20 cm high, it grows in among heather, moss and under wet woodland trees. From June to August, between five and twelve flowers (2–3 mm) are borne in loose spikes, each little reddish-green flower having a hood and a lip which is forked. There is a single, shiny pair of heart-shaped leaves (hence 'cordata') about one-third of the way up the stem. This is a native plant and it belongs to the Orchidaceae family.

I first recorded this wildflower growing in the beautiful Glenveagh National Park*, Co Donegal in June 2010 when I photographed it.

*http://www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie/

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

Twayblade, Lesser
Twayblade, Lesser

Pollination is effected by flies, beetles, wasps and gnats. Like all orchids, Lesser Twayblade has a relationship with the fungi on which it grows and from which it derives its nutrition until its leaves are formed, after which it gets its food by photosynthesis. Lesser Twayblade also provides nectar to visiting insects who, in turn, pollinate the plant.