Native Orchid News:
The Newsletter of Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
Volume 6 Issue 4   December 2004
ISSN 1499-5476

Northern Twayblade - photo by Eugene Reimer Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
117 Morier Ave, Winnipeg MB R2M0C8

For more information contact Doris Ames at 231-1160 or e-mail

Annual General Meeting:
Friday, February 25, 2005

Orchid of the Month:
Northern Twayblade (Listera borealis)


President's Report - by Doris Ames

This morning a few pale pink blooms on my Christmas cactus let me know that another busy year is coming to an end; a year filled with excitement, interesting trips, hard work and fun.  It was so good to see so many of you come out to Members Night on October 29th

Work continues on our field guide "Orchids of Manitoba".  As I mentioned at Members Night we are behind schedule but working hard.  The reason for the delay is because we want to make the book the best it can be, and it's taking a little longer than expected.  I don't think you will mind the wait when you see the completed book, full of accurate information and beautiful photographs of our native orchids.  Committee members are working very hard to make a high-quality field guide and I am very grateful to them. 

It is also time to renew your memberships if you have not already done so.  We count on your renewals and donations to continue with our conservation work.  A tax receipt will be provided for donations of $10.00 or more.  Thanks to all of you who make donations of your time and money to make this organization a success.  Your contributions are absolutely vital.  We are planning our Annual General Meeting to be held on Friday, February 25th and hope to have another Silent Auction.  We need items for it and if you have anything you would like to contribute please contact Peggy at 261-9179. 

I would like to thank the board members for all their hard work this year.  They are all very talented and a wonderful group to work with.  Alice Warren, our secretary, is resigning due to ill health.  According to our constitution, the board must appoint someone to fill this vacancy for the duration of the term, which runs until one-year after the upcoming AGM.  Bob Joyce, director and field trip coordinator, is also stepping down at the end of his term, at this AGM.  Thank you Bob and Alice for all your outstanding work for NOCI and your kindness and support to me over the past few years.  I hope you will continue to attend our functions and give us good advice. 

Please let us know if you are willing to serve as a director, especially if you are also willing to serve as either our secretary or our field-trip co-ordinator. 

I saw this on the Internet the other day and found it amusing so I thought I would share it with you:

A Politically Correct Holiday Greeting

Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all.  And for a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2005, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great, without regard to the race, creed, colour, religious, or sexual preferences of the wishee. 

Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal.  It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself/himself or others and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit. 
[Author unknown]

In closing, you certainly have my warmest wishes for the holiday season and a New Year filled with love and happiness. 

A Good Time at October 2004 Members' Night
by Peggy Bainard Acheson, Members' Night Committee

NOCI was pleased to host our fourth annual Members' Night at the Dakota Lawn Bowls Club on Friday, October 29, 2004.  We had over 50 members and guests join us to share the presentations, see our display, and generally catch up on the summer's activities. 

Our feature speaker was Jim Duncan, Manager of the Biodiversity Conservation Section of Manitoba Conservation, who presented an overview of the Provincial Government's efforts to maintain biodiversity and species at risk in the province.  Jim also gave us an update on the status of some of the province's species at risk.  He pointed out that everyone can help the department by reporting rare species and notifying department conservation officers of poachers. 

Board members, Doris Ames and Peggy Bainard Acheson, gave a Powerpoint presentation of their adventure to the Native Orchid Conference in Conway, South Carolina in August.  We not only saw and learned a great deal about the beautiful orchids in the Green Swamp of North Carolina, but we also learned about the human and natural history of this area of the southern United States. 

Following the presentations, and draw for the door prizes, refreshments were served.  Thank you to Iris Reimer, Bill Belcher, and Doris Ames for donating items for the door prizes.  Thanks also to Richard Reeves for donating the proceeds of the card sales to NOCI.  I would also like to thank Bob Joyce, Kathy Everett, Jac and Mary Wiebe, Richard and Marie Ann Reeves, Alice Warren, Doris and Al Ames, Eugene Reimer, and Morris Sorensen for helping to make the evening a success!  See you all at our AGM in February. 

The NOCI Newsletter is Available by Email
by Eugene Reimer

You can now add your email-address to our Elist (Electronic notification list).  Doing so means that you will be notified whenever a newsletter, report, or other document, is published on the NOCI website.  You will receive such an email, with a link to the online newsletter or document, about 10 times per year. 

Signing up is easy.  Just click on Electronic-Newsletters

You are free to receive our newsletter in both forms.  Signing up for Elist notifications does not remove you from our paper-newsletter mailing-list.  We do, however, make it easy for you to save trees and postage by giving up your paper copy; the instructions are in that same Electronic-Newsletters section. 

Please be assured that we respect your privacy; your email-address will not be used for any commercial purposes; other recipients of such emails will not see your email-address.  See our Privacy-Policy, which is article-7 in our Constitution, for details. 

2005 Membership Renewal Reminder
by Peggy Bainard Acheson

Dear NOCI Members:

I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to you, our members, for the support of our organization.  It is very true that we cannot continue to carry out projects such as the Orchids of Manitoba field guide, or work on the Gull Lake Wetland Ecological Reserve proposal without it.  We hope that you will continue that support by renewing your membership for 2005.  Our membership fees will remain at $10 for individuals and $25 for group memberships.  Also, please consider making a donation by checking off the appropriate box and sending it along with your renewal.  A tax-deductible receipt will be issued in February 2005 for all donations of $10 or more made prior to December 31, 2004. 

Donations can also be made online. provides the secure method for you to donate to NOCI.  Click here to make an Online Donation.  For online donations, a tax-receipt will be issued by email immediately. 

For further information about memberships, renewals or donations, please don't hesitate to contact me at 261-9179 or

Please fill out the  Printable-Membership-Form and return to the address on the form. 

Orchid of the Month

Northern Twayblade (Listera borealis)

By Richard Reeves

"Northern Twayblade" is a suitable name for this cold-loving, two-leaved orchid.  The genus Listera is named for Martin Lister, a noted seventeenth century English physician and naturalist.  The species name borealis means "northern". 

The plant grows to 15 centimetres in height.  Two leaves that are nearly opposite appear near the middle of the stem; the loose raceme has up to 15 blue-green flowers.  The very striking and relatively large lip of the flower is pale green on the edges and darker green in the centre.  Northern Twayblade has small, oval seed pods along the top quarter of a fragile stem.  The flowers can appear from early June to mid-July. 

The only other orchid that could be mistaken for Northern Twayblade in Manitoba is Auricled Twayblade (Listera auriculata).  However, the last reported sighting of Auricled Twayblade was some fifty years ago. 

Northern Twayblade is one of the least known of the orchids of Manitoba.  This elusive orchid is rarely encountered even by orchid enthusiasts.  There are several reasons for this.  Northern Twayblade is small and inconspicuous, blending in with other green vegetation.  It does not grow in the more populated southern part of Manitoba but, as the name suggests, grows in the sparsely populated boreal forest area of the northern part of the province.  Because Northern Twayblade is a short-lived plant, the window of opportunity for sighting it is small. 

There are only about six locations where Northern Twayblade is known to grow in Manitoba.  The southernmost locations are in the Duck Mountains in the west and near Wallace Lake in the east.  We were very fortunate to see many exquisite specimens of Northern Twayblade on our excursion to Churchill in July of this year (see the October newsletter).  That alone made the trip worthwhile.