Flora of Northern Ireland
  • Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz - Broad-Leaved Helleborine - Orchidaceae
Epipactis helleborine
© Paul Hackney
Epipactis helleborine
© Robert Thompson
Epipactis helleborine
© Paul Hackney
Epipactis helleborine
(Map updated: March 2008)
Epipactis helleborine
© Robert Thompson
 

Broad-Leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) is a fairly frequent species of park or demesne woodland, and also the few fragments of native oak woodland remaining in Northern Ireland.

This orchid flowers in the latter part of the summer, the flowers varying in colour from green to purple. The underground rhizome is short and thick and the above-ground stems carry oval leaves and flower spikes of variable length.

This species can probably persist in a non-flowering underground stage for many years without producing the flowering stems, by relying on the fungus in the rhizome to provide food from the soil.

All names: Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz; Epipactis latifolia (L.) All.; Epipactis media auct.; Helleborine helleborine (L.) Druce