Native Orchid News:
The Newsletter of Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
Vol. 4 Issue 2   March 2002
ISSN 1499-5476

Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
35 St.Michael Rd, Winnipeg,MB R2M2K7
For more information on NOCI,
contact Bud Ewacha at 253-4741
or e-mail

Notice of Annual General Meeting:
Wednesday, April 10, 2002 7:30pm
Location: Dakota Lawn Bowling Club
1212 Dakota Street
Elections to the Board will take place

Rare Plant of the Month:
Heart-leaved Twayblade
Listera cordata


Our first Members' Night, on March 6th, was very enjoyable. It was a cold evening, but you wouldn't have known it by the warm atmosphere inside. We are indebted to guest speakers Helios Hernandez, Christie Borkowsky, and Doris Ames for putting on such informative and entertaining presentations. The 40 or more people in attendance had a chance to have their questions answered by the experts. Much information about rare plants and their habitat was exchanged and members lingered long after the program was finished to enjoy the displays, especially our brand new display on the SE Timber Sales project. The refreshments, courtesy of Smith Neufeld Jodoin, were particularly tasty and healthful. Many thanks to John and his partners. Thanks to Peggy Bainard Acheson, John Neufeld, Alice Warren, Eugene Reimer, Bud Ewacha and Walter Loewen for all their help in making the evening such a great success. If anyone has any comments on this event or any ideas or suggestions for next year's event, please e-mail Peggy Bainard Acheson at or mail to 1307-90 Plaza Drive, Wpg. R3T 5K8.

In other news, Kevin McNabb resigned as interim treasurer and Eugene Reimer has agreed to handle the job until our Annual General Meeting when elections to the Board will take place.


Our Annual General Meeting will be held Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 7:30 P.M. at the Dakota Lawn Bowling Club 1212 Dakota Street. Elections to the Board of Directors will take place at that time. John Neufeld is our nominating chair. Please contact him at 204-326-2357, if you wish to run for a position on the board or require more information. He will also take nominations from the floor at the meeting. A reminder to old members, according to our constitution, you must have your membership dues paid up in order to vote, so be prepared to renew them there if not sooner. New members must have belonged to the organization for 15 days prior to the elections in order to have voting privileges. The next issue of the newsletter will contain our summer field trip schedule so make sure you renew in time to receive it. The AGM should be really fun this year. We are having our lottery draw then and I can't wait to see who wins the nice prizes. You will have a chance to do some last minute ticket buying, before the draw at 9:00 P.M.

Bud has arranged for a really interesting guest speaker at the AGM. NOCI member, Heather Gill Robinson, will speak on "Secrets of the Bogs". She has studied peat bogs in the United Kingdom from an archaeological perspective. This is such an interesting subject. In ancient times people believed that bogs were the entrance to the spirit world and many sacrifices were carried out there. Many of us find them attractive even today, because of their beauty and mystery. I noticed the other day in the paper, there will be a special exhibition called "The Mysterious Bog People" at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec from December 6,2002 to September 1, 2003. Maybe some of us "bogophiles" should attend. Heather should be able to answer our questions in the meantime.


  March 21-24   St.Vital Centre
  April 5-7   Manitoba Orchid Society Show at Asssiniboine Park Conservatory
  April 21-27   Grant Park Shopping Centre

Please phone Bud, our president, now, at 253-4741, if you can help with these displays. We believe it is very important to go out and do public education on a regular basis. It's the only way we can inform people about the need to conserve rare plants and their habitat before it's too late. We get most of our new members and donations too, as a result of these displays in the Shopping Centres. Please help us with this because otherwise we will have to scale them way back. Bud, is having to do far too much of this work himself. He is extremely good at it, but even the best of us will get "burn out" over time.

Volunteer Coordinator:

We really need a volunteer coordinator. The Board members are very busy handling the projects and the running of the organization and they really don't have the time to coordinate and seek out volunteers. If any of you have experience in this work, and a bit of free time, please let Bud know.

Candidate List

The following members have agreed to let their names stand for election to the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting on April 10, 2002. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor. If you have further questions, please contact our nominating chair, John Neufeld at 204-326-2357 or during the day at (Winnipeg) 475-5483.

DORIS AMES - has served as vice president of the organization for the past three years and editor of the newsletter for two years. She has had a life-long interest in plants and animals and the health of the environment. She is a writer and has had numerous articles published about orchids and other plants.

BUD EWACHA - Bud is the founder of Native Orchid Conservation Inc. and has served as its president since its inception, in 1998. He has dedicated more than 20 years to the conservation of our native orchids. Bud likes nothing better than to be out of doors photographing our native plant species.

EUGENE REIMER - Eugene was born and raised on a farm near Giroux, Manitoba and is a long-time member of the Manitoba Naturalists. He is our webmaster and has made many improvements and enhancements to the NOCI website. While serving as interim treasurer, he has recently brought our records into a computerized format.

ALICE WARREN - has been secretary of our organization for the past three years. She has a life-long love of nature. Her family has maintained a cottage on Gull Lake for more than 60 years. She has had a special interest in preservation of the surrounding wetlands since Bud introduced her to the magnificent fen, with its beautiful orchids.

Renewal Reminder

If you have not paid your 2002 membership: You will no longer receive our newsletter nor be entitled to go on field-trips to witness our wonderful Manitoba orchids. Membership is only $10.00 per person. Please renew immediately and help us continue our efforts to save these rare plants and their habitat.

Click here for the membership-form and instructions.

If you have already paid your 2002 membership, we thank you and please disregard this notice.

Rare Plant of the Month see cover photo

Heart-leaved Twayblade (Listera cordata)

The genus Listera is named for Martin Lister, a noted English physician and naturalist. (NB. This is not the same doctor who pioneered the use of antiseptic. Dr. Martin liked to mess around in dirty, old bogs) The species name is derived from the Latin "cordatus", meaning heart-shaped, in reference to the leaves.

This inconspicuous, little orchid is missed by all but the most careful observers. It is usually no more than six inches tall. Two small, opposite heart-shaped leaves are found halfway up the flimsy stem. This feature distinguishes it from all the other "little-green-job" orchids, they only have one leaf.

The flowers appear in July and August but you really need a magnifying glass to see them. (A flashlight wouldn't hurt, either.) Clustered near the top of the spike, the 6-20 tiny flowers have many interesting features. The few that I have examined, were always whitish-green in color but apparently there are purple ones as well. The long lip is split in two, halfway up its length, unlike the other twayblades. The plant doesn't last long. It grows so fast the ovaries often split and spill their seeds before the flowers wither.

Darwin, among other naturalists, was fascinated by the interesting pollination mechanism, involving a kind of quick-drying glue. It is believed to be pollinated by small insects like fungus gnats. Luer, in his book, on the Orchids of North America (1976) goes into some detail on this subject. The seedpods are hard to find because the flower spike is so fragile they usually break off. The ones I have seen had a few round pods clustered near the top of the stem.

Heart-leaved Twayblade is usually found growing in moss in northern, coniferous bogs. It prefers cedar bogs with underlying clay. Much more common in the north, than in the south, it is found in Europe and Asia as well as North America. There are two other Twayblade species found in northern Manitoba.