Talk about Delayed Gratification! (Twayblade Orchid)

I’ve been waiting a whole year to see this flower.

twayblade orchid flower
Closer view of the orchid flower.

When I first found the plant last summer there was only the two leaves. Without seeing a flower, it’s hard to positively identify a plant, unless that plant has something about the foliage (or some other distinguishing characteristic, like scent, bark pattern, or root appearance) to nail its identity.

Ginseng is like that – the leaf size and arrangement is unique to that plant, and the root with next year’s immature bud will do the identification trick.

But now I can say for sure that the little plant I found last year is Lily-leaved Twayblade Orchid (Liparis liliifolia). There’s a whole stand of them in the cedar grove.

Lily-leaved Twayblade Orchid (Liparis liliifolia)
Lily-leaved Twayblade Orchid (Liparis liliifolia)

The Lily-leaved Twayblade Orchids (try saying that quickly) grow in a cedar grove here at Wild Ozark. The ground is shady and moist year-round and reindeer moss grows in patches in the area. Green moss commonly found on north-facing slopes is common there as well. It is indeed on a north-facing slope, but the incline is not steep. Lousewort also grows in the vicinity. There’s a fair amount of clay in the soil, and with all the cedars I’m sure it’s on the acid side of pH, as well.

These flowered in late May. The leaves and flower stalks must grow quickly because I had just checked for them last week and they had not appeared yet.


First Hunt by Ima ErthwitchPredator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.

Nature Farming


Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


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