Neottia ovata (formerly Listera ovata)

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Twayblade


The Twayblade is a medium-sized orchid that can be easily overlooked despite being one of our commonest species, while Common Spotted is more abundant and more widespread. Common in the woodlands, scrub and grasslands of calcareous soils, its flower spike carries a very loose cluster of yellow-green flowers that are not as showy as some of the other, more exotic-looking orchids. It is in bloom from May to July.

How to identify

The Twayblade has a pair of broad leaves that appear flush to the ground in March, before the flower stem grows. The single green flower spike bears the yellow-green flowers that look a little like people in their form.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for a range of wildflowers including various orchids. A mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting and ride maintenance opens up the woodland floor to the sun, helping many flowers and plants to thrive and keeping others that are more invasive under control. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to raising awareness about woodland wildlife.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Neottia ovata (formerly Listera ovata)
Height: up to 50cm
Conservation status