Definition of twayblade in US English:



  • An orchid with a slender spike of greenish or mauve flowers and a single pair of broad leaves near the base or midway up the stem.

    Genera Listera and Liparis, family Orchidaceae: several species, including the North American heartleaf twayblade (Listera cordata) and the Eurasian common twayblade (Listera ovata)

    • ‘Surveys have found close to a thousand heart-leafed twayblades in the lower, wetter areas.’
    • ‘The large twayblade grows in shady woodlands in loamy soil.’
    • ‘While with a client last week I visited a patch of heart-leaved twayblades near Bandon.’
    • ‘Less common species are meadow saxifrage, green-winged orchid, common twayblade and lesser butterfly-orchid.’
    • ‘The name twayblade refers to the pair of oval leaves (two blades) near the base of the plant.’


Late 16th century: from tway (variant of twain) + blade, translating Latin bifolium.