Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Listera cordata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OrchidaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, terrestrial [growing on other pls], non-green (nutrition from association of roots with fungi) or green, generally from rhizomes or tubers with few to many fleshy to slender roots; cauline leaves +- reduced to sheathing stem bracts or not. Leaf: 1--many, basal to cauline, linear to +- round, alternate to opposite (if only 1 pair), generally sessile. Inflorescence: flowers 1--many, spike or raceme, bracted. Flower: bisexual, bilateral, in bud generally rotating 180° by twisting ovary (position of parts indicated after twisting); sepals generally 3, generally free, generally petal-like, uppermost generally erect, lateral with chin- or spur-like projection (mentum) or not; petals 3, 1 (lip) different, spurred or not; stamens generally 1 (3 in Cypripedium, 2 functional, 1 a staminode), fused with style, stigma into column, pollen generally lumped, generally removed as unit by insect; ovary inferior, 1-chambered, placentas 3, parietal, stigma 3 lobed, generally under column tip. Fruit: capsule. Seed: many, minute.
Genera In Family: +- 800 genera, +- 25000 species: especially tropics (worldwide except Antarctica). Many cultivated for ornamental, especially Cattleya, Cymbidium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum; Vanilla planifolia Andrews fruits used to flavor food. Note: Platanthera may be paraphyletic without inclusion of Piperia (Bateman et al. 2009 Ann Bot 104:431--445); study needed.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald A. Coleman, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ListeraView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: TWAYBLADE
Habit: Rhizomes slender. Leaf: cauline, 2, +- opposite, generally ovate to +- round. Inflorescence: raceme, +- open; flower bract < flower. Flower: sepals +- equal, green to +- purple, lower spreading; lateral petals +- like sepals, ascending to erect; lip generally > sepals, petals, spreading to descending, generally wedge-shaped, flat, tip entire to deeply lobed; column subcylindric, straight to curved, anther at tip. Fruit: generally spreading.
Species In Genus: +- 25 species: temperate, arctic North America, Eurasia. Etymology: (Martin Lister, English naturalist, 1638--1711) Note: Names available in Neottia (earlier name), with same epithets, for all California taxa if Listera treated as congeneric with that genus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald A. Coleman, L.K. Magrath, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings

Listera cordata (L.) R. Br.
Habit: Plant 6--25 cm. Leaf: blade 1--4 cm, base cordate. Inflorescence: 2.5--4 cm. Flower: sepals 2--4 mm, oblong to narrowly elliptic; lip 8--10 mm, oblong below middle, with 2 short teeth at base, deeply 2-lobed; column 0.5--1.5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=36,38,40,42.
Ecology: Moist, shady conifer forests; Elevation: 100--1300 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, KR; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, eastern North America, Eurasia. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun
Synonyms: Listera cordata var. cordata; Listera cordata var. nephrophylla (Rydb.) Hultén; Listera nephrophylla Rydb.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald A. Coleman, L.K. Magrath, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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botanical illustration including Listera cordata


Citation for this treatment: Ronald A. Coleman, L.K. Magrath, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings 2017. Listera cordata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 22, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 22, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Listera cordata:
NCo, KR;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.