from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of numerous small terrestrial orchids of the genera Liparis and Listera, having usually two basal leaves and a terminal cluster of greenish or purplish flowers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several orchids, of the genera Lipara and Listera, that have a pair of basal leaves

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several orchidaceous plants which have only two leaves, as the species of Listera and of Liparis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Primarily, a European orchid, Listera ovata, a simple-stemmed plant a foot or more high, bearing a slender raceme of green flowers, and about six inches from the ground a single pair of broadly ovate leaves, to which the name refers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. orchid having a pair of ovate leaves and a long slender raceme of green flowers sometimes tinged red-brown; Europe to central Asia
  • n. an orchid of the genus Liparis having a pair of leaves


Obsolete tway, two (short for Middle English twaine; see twain) + blade (translation of Medieval Latin bifolium, two-leaf).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Alteration of earlier twiblade as if tway + blade. (Wiktionary)


  • I have also received Liparis liliifolia, or twayblade, from this spot.

    The Maine Woods


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  • What a delightful word. :-)

    May 17, 2008

  • ...a fringe of alder, many grasses, cattails, sweet-flags, and a few purple-lipped twayblades...

    - Nabokov, Ada, or Ardor.

    May 17, 2008