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Listera cordata 130506c.jpg
Neottia cordata (syn. Listera cordata)
Scientific classification e
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Neottieae
Genus: Neottia
  • Listera R.Br.
  • Nidus Riv.
  • Nidus-avis Ortega.
  • Cardiophyllum Ehrh.
  • Diphryllum Raf.
  • Neottidium Schltdl.
  • Distomaea Spenn.
  • Pollinirhiza Dulac
  • Holopogon Kom. & Nevski in V.L.Komarov
  • Archineottia S.C.Chen
  • Diplandrorchis S.C.Chen

Neottia is a genus of orchids. The genus now includes the former genus Listera, commonly known as twayblades referring to the single pair of opposite leaves at the base of the flowering stem. The genus is native to temperate, subarctic and arctic regions across most of Europe, northern Asia (Siberia, China, the Himalayas, Central Asia, etc), and North America, with a few species extending into subtropical regions in the Mediterranean, Indochina, the southeastern United States, etc.[1][3][4][5][6]

Neottia produces a racemose inflorescences with flowers in shades of green or dull pink through to maroon and purple. The lip of each flower is prominently forked or two-lobed. Some species (those which were previously the only members of the genus Neottia in the strict sense, such as the bird's-nest orchid, Neottia nidus-avis) are completely without chlorophyll and have leaves which are reduced to scales.

N. nidus-avis, a non-photosynthetic species


Neottia is a genus of relatively small terrestrial orchids. Some (the former genus Listera) have chlorophyll and are hence gaining their energy from photosynthesis. Others (the formerly narrowly defined genus Neottia) lack chlorophyll and are dependent on fungi for their nutrition (mycotrophic). The flowering stem has a number of greenish or brownish bracts at the base. In the photosynthetic members of the genus there are also two more-or-less opposite green leaves (very rarely more than two in Neottia ovata). The flowers are individually small, in shades of green, yellow, brown or red to purple. The lip is usually much larger than the other five tepals, and is almost always deeply divided into two lobes at the end.[7] The other five tepals may form a loose hood.[8] The pollinia are not stalked.[7]


At one time the genus was divided between Neottia and Listera. Molecular phylogenetic studies in this century have shown that species lacking chlorophyll, such as Neottia nidus-avis, evolved within a larger clade of photosynthetic plants containing Neottia and Listera,[8] so that the two genera should be combined. As Neottia is the older name, sources such as the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families and the Flora of China now use Neottia for all species formerly in Listera.[2] Other sources continue to divide the genus into two.[9]


Species accepted as of June 2014:[1]

  1. Neottia acuminata Schltr. - China, Japan, Korea, Russian Far East, Himalayas
  2. Neottia alternifolia (King & Pantl.) Szlach. - Sikkim, Yunnan
  3. Neottia auriculata (Wiegand) Szlach. (syn. Listera auriculata) – auricled twayblade[9] - eastern Canada, northeastern USA
  4. Neottia bambusetorum (Hand.-Mazz.) Szlach. - Yunnan
  5. Neottia banksiana (Lindl.) Rchb.f. in W.G.Walpers (syn. Listera caurina) - northwestern twayblade[9] – from Alaska to California
  6. Neottia biflora (Schltr.) Szlach. - Sichuan
  7. Neottia bifolia (Raf.) Baumbach (syn. Listera australis Lindl.) – southern twayblade[9] - eastern Canada, eastern USA
  8. Neottia borealis (Morong) Szlach. – northern twayblade[9] - most of Canada including Arctic regions, plus mountains of western US
  9. Neottia brevicaulis (King & Pantl.) Szlach. - eastern Himalayas and Yunnan
  10. Neottia brevilabris Tang & F.T.Wang - Chongqing
  11. Neottia camtschatea (L.) Rchb.f. in H.G.L.Reichenbach - Siberia, Russian Far East, Mongolia, northwestern China, Central Asia
  12. Neottia chandrae Raskoti, J.J.Wood & Ale - Nepal
  13. Neottia chenii S.W.Gale & P.J.Cribb - Sichuan, Gansu
  14. Neottia confusa Bhaumik - Arunachal Pradesh
  15. Neottia convallarioides (Sw.) Rich. – much of Canada, western and northern US, Komandor Islands of Russia - broad-lipped twayblade[9]
  16. Neottia cordata (L.) Rich. – widespread across Europe, northern Asia, Canada, US - lesser twayblade,[8] heartleaf twayblade[9]
  17. Neottia dentata (King & Pantl.) Szlach. - Himalayas, Myanmar
  18. Neottia dihangensis Bhaumik - Arunachal Pradesh
  19. Neottia divaricata (Panigrahi & P.Taylor) Szlach. - Arunachal Pradesh, Tibet
  20. Neottia fangii (Tang & F.T.Wang ex S.C.Chen & G.H.Zhu) S.C.Chen, S.W.Gale & P.J.Cribb - Sichuan
  21. Neottia flabellata (W.W.Sm.) Szlach. - mountains of northern Myanmar
  22. Neottia formosana S.C.Chen, S.W.Gale & P.J.Cribb - Taiwan
  23. Neottia furusei T.Yukawa & Yagame - Japan
  24. Neottia gaudissartii Hand.-Mazz. - Shanxi, Henan, Liaoning
  25. Neottia inagakii Yagame, Katsuy. & T.Yukawa - Honshu
  26. Neottia japonica (Blume) Szlach. - Japan, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, Jeju-do Island of Korea
  27. Neottia karoana Szlach. - eastern Himalayas, Yunnan
  28. Neottia kiusiana T.Hashim. & S.Hatus. - Korea, Japan
  29. Neottia kuanshanensis H.J.Su - Taiwan
  30. Neottia latilabra (Evrard ex Gagnep.) ined.. - Vietnam
  31. Neottia listeroides Lindl. in J.F.Royle - mountains from Pakistan to Tibet and Assam
  32. Neottia longicaulis (King & Pantl.) Szlach. - eastern Himalayas, Tibet
  33. Neottia mackinnonii Deva & H.B.Naithani - western Himalayas
  34. Neottia makinoana (Ohwi) Szlach. - Japan
  35. Neottia megalochila S.C.Chen - Sichuan, Yunnan
  36. Neottia meifongensis (H.J.Su & C.Y.Hu) T.C.Hsu & S.W.Chung - Taiwan
  37. Neottia microglottis (Duthie) Schltr. - western Himalayas
  38. Neottia microphylla (S.C.Chen & Y.B.Luo) S.C.Chen, S.W.Gale & P.J.Cribb - Yunnan
  39. Neottia morrisonicola (Hayata) Szlach. - Taiwan
  40. Neottia mucronata (Panigrahi & J.J.Wood) Szlach. - China, Japan, Korea, eastern Himalayas
  41. Neottia nanchuanica (S.C.Chen) Szlach. - Chongqing
  42. Neottia nandadeviensis (Hajra) Szlach. - Uttarakhand
  43. Neottia nankomontana (Fukuy.) Szlach. - Taiwan
  44. Neottia nepalensis (N.P.Balakr.) Szlach - Nepal
  45. Neottia nidus-avis (L.) Rich. – widespread across most of Europe; also Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Iran, Caucasus, western Siberia - bird's-nest orchid[8]
  46. Neottia nipponica (Makino) Szlach. - Russian Far East, Korea, Japan
  47. Neottia oblata (S.C.Chen) Szlach. - Chongqing
  48. Neottia ovata (L.) Bluff & Fingerh. - Europe, Siberia, Central Asia, Southwestern Asia – common twayblade,[8] eggleaf twayblade[9]
  49. Neottia pantlingii (W.W.Sm.) Tang & F.T.Wang - eastern Himalayas
  50. Neottia papilligera Schltr. - Japan, Korea, Russian Far East, northeastern China
  51. Neottia pinetorum (Lindl.) Szlach. - Himalayas of India, Nepal, China, etc.
  52. Neottia pseudonipponica (Fukuy.) Szlach. - Taiwan
  53. Neottia puberula (Maxim.) Szlach. - China, Japan, Korea, Siberia, Russian Far East
  54. Neottia smallii (Wiegand) Szlach. – Appalachian Mountains of eastern US - kidneyleaf twayblade[9]
  55. Neottia smithiana Schltr. - Sichuan, Shaanxi
  56. Neottia smithii (Schltr.) Szlach. - Sichuan
  57. Neottia suzukii (Masam.) Szlach. - Taiwan
  58. Neottia taibaishanensis P.H.Yang & K.Y.Lang - Shaanxi
  59. Neottia taizanensis (Fukuy.) Szlach. - Taiwan
  60. Neottia tenii Schltr. - Yunnan
  61. Neottia tenuis (Lindl.) Szlach. - Tibet, Nepal, eastern Himalayas
  62. Neottia tianschanica (Grubov) Szlach. - Xinjiang
  63. Neottia unguiculata (W.W.Sm.) Szlach. - Myanmar
  64. Neottia ussuriensis (Kom. & Nevski) Soó - Primorye region of Russia
  65. Neottia × veltmanii (Case) Baumbach - Michigan (N. auriculata × N. convallarioides)
  66. Neottia wardii (Rolfe) Szlach. - China, Tibet
  67. Neottia yunnanensis (S.C.Chen) Szlach. - Yunnan


  1. ^ a b c "Neottia", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-04-05
  2. ^ a b "Listera", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-04-04
  3. ^ Flora of North America, v 25, p 586, Listera R. Brown, Hortus Kew. 5: 201. 1813.
  4. ^ Flora of China v 25 p 184, 鸟巢兰属 niao chao lan shu, Neottia Guettard, Hist. Acad. Roy. Sci. Mém. Math. Phys. (Paris, 4°) 1750: 374. 1754.
  5. ^ Bateman, R.M. (2009). Evolutionary classification of European orchids: the crucial importance of maximising explicit evidence and minimising authoritarian speculation. Journal Europäischer Orchideen 41: 243-318.
  6. ^ Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.C. & Rasmussen, F.N. (2006). Epidendroideae (Part One). Genera Orchidacearum 4: 1-672. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
  7. ^ a b Chen, Xinqi; Gale, Stephan W.; Cribb, Phillip J., "Neottia", Neottia in Flora of China, retrieved 2012-04-05, in Wu, Zhengyi; Raven, Peter H. & Hong, Deyuan, eds. (1994 onwards), Flora of China, Beijing; St. Louis: Science Press; Missouri Botanical Garden, retrieved 2012-04-05 Check date values in: |year= (help)
  8. ^ a b c d e Stace, Clive (2010), New Flora of the British Isles (3rd ed.), Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-70772-5, p. 864
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Plants Profile for Listera (twayblade)", USDA Plants, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, retrieved 2012-04-05 (former Listera only)

External links[edit]