Species Image Gallery
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THE ORCHID FAMILY
 
The orchid family is easily recognizable because of the unique structures of the flower. There are usually three sepals and three petals, similar to other petaloid monocots; however, the sepals often look like the two side petals. The middle petal is called the labellum or lip and is usually highly modified. The lip can be pouch-like, have appendages or be coloured differently than the rest of the perianth. The stamens, style, and stigma are fused together to form the column. There is usually one functional anther with two pollen sacs that contain masses of pollen called pollinia. The stigma is usually a sticky surface at the tip or beak of the column. The ovary is long and can be seen below the sepals and petals.

Orchid flowers can be very bright and large, which makes them popular ornamental plants. This family is well represented in the tropics. Saskatchewan has several orchid species, most of which are quite small.
 
HEARTLEAF TWAYBLADE
 
  LATIN NAME:    Listera cordata
 
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
 
Heartleaf twayblade is less than 30 cm tall. The stem is fleshy and can be green or reddish-purple in colour. The leaves are usually inserted below the middle of the stem and have a heart-shaped or squared base with an abrupt point at the tip. The inflorescence is unbranched and may contain as many as 25 flowers. The flowers are yellowish or purplish-green. The lip is about 5 mm long and is divided about halfway to the base. The capsule is round.
 
WHERE DOES IT GROW?
 
Heartleaf twayblade grows in wet spruce woods.
 
WHERE IS IT FOUND IN SASKATCHEWAN?
 
This plant is widespread in forested regions in Saskatchewan in the Boreal Transition, Mid-Boreal Upland, Athabasca Plain, and Churchill River ecoregions.
 
WHY IS IT RARE?
 
Heartleaf twayblade is listed as vulnerable but is apparently secure in Saskatchewan. Most local populations are small. No immediate threats are known but are possible in the future.
 
HOW TO IDENTIFY HEARTLEAF TWAYBLADE
  * Are the leaves heart-shaped or triangular?
* Are the sepals and petals greenish or purplish?
* Is the lip divided about halfway to the base?
* Did you find in a forest in Saskatchewan?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, you may have found heartleaf twayblade!