Epipactis helleborine

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Broad-leaved Helleborine
Epipactis helleborine flowers1 220703.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Epipactis
Species: E. helleborine
Binomial name
Epipactis helleborine
(L.) Crantz
Epipactis helleborine range map.jpg
  • Serapias helleborine L.
  • Helleborine helleborine (L.) Druce, invalid name
  • Epipactis latifolia subsp. helleborine (L.) Rivas Goday & Borja, illegitimate name
  • Serapias helleborine var. latifolia L.
  • Serapias latifolia (L.) Huds.
  • Epipactis latifolia (L.) All.
  • Cymbidium latifolium (L.) Sw.
  • Helleborine latifolia (L.) Moench
  • Epipactis consimilis D.Don
  • Epipactis uliginosa Vest
  • Epipactis herbacea Lindl. in J.F.Royle
  • Epipactis macrostachya Lindl.
  • Epipactis ovalis Bab. in J.E.Sm.
  • Epipactis pycnostachys K.Koch
  • Epipactis dalhousiae Wight
  • Epipactis intrusa Lindl.
  • Epipactis gutta-sanguinis Arv.-Touv.
  • Calliphyllon latifolium (L.) Bubani
  • Epipactis atroviridis Linton
  • Helleborine ovalis (Bab.) Druce
  • Helleborine atroviridis (Linton) F.Hanb. in H.C.Watson
  • Serapias consimilis (D.Don) A.A.Eaton
  • Helleborine pycnostachys (K.Koch) Druce
  • Amesia consimilis (D.Don) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr.
  • Amesia latifolia (L.) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr.
  • Amesia pycnostachys (K.Koch) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr.
  • Epipactis squamellosa Schltr.
  • Epipactis yunnanensis Schltr.
  • Epipactis discolor Kraenzl.
  • Epipactis tenii Schltr.
  • Epipactis monticola Schltr.
  • Epipactis nephrocordia Schltr.
  • Amesia discolor (Kraenzl.) Hu
  • Amesia monticola (Schltr.) Hu
  • Amesia squamellosa (Schltr.) Hu
  • Amesia tenii (Schltr.) Hu
  • Amesia yunnanensis (Schltr.) Hu
  • Helleborine varians Soó
  • Amesia longibracteata Schweinf.
  • Helleborine macrostachya (Lindl.) Soó
  • Helleborine nephrocardia (Schltr.) Soó
  • Helleborine squamellosa (Schltr.) Soó
  • Helleborine tenii (Schltr.) Soó
  • Helleborine yunnanensis (Schltr.) Soó
  • Epipactis ohwii Fukuy.
  • Epipactis ligulata Hand.-Mazz.
  • Epipactis magnibracteata C.Schweinf.
  • Epipactis youngiana A.J.Richards & A.F.Porter
  • Epipactis voethii Robatsch
  • Epipactis kezlinekii Batoušek
  • Epipactis zirnsackiana Riech.

Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved Helleborine) is a terrestrial species of orchid. Its nodding flowers vary from greenish pink to purple, and it prefers shaded woodland environments.


Epipactis helleborine grows to a height of 80 cms has broad dull green leaves which are strongly ribbed and flat. The flowers are arranged in a long drooping racemes with dull green sepals and shorter upper petals. The lower labellum is pale red and is much shorter than the upper petals.[3]


It is widespread across much of Europe and Asia from Portugal to China, as well as northern Africa.[1][4][5] In North America, it is widely naturalized mostly in the Northeastern United States, eastern Canada and the Great Lakes Region, but also in scattered locations in other parts of the continent.[6][7][8]


Found in woods and hedge-banks.[9]


A rather long list of names have been proposed for subspecies, varieties and forms of Epipactis helleborine, far too many to list here.[2] This is not unusual for such a widespread species. At present (June 2014) only the following are accorded international acceptance:[1]

  1. Epipactis helleborine subsp. bithynica (Robatsch) Kreutz - Turkey
  2. Epipactis helleborine subsp. degenii (Szentp. & Mónus) Kreutz - Greece
  3. Epipactis helleborine subsp. densifolia (W.Hahn, Passin & R.Wegener) Kreutz - Turkey
  4. Epipactis helleborine subsp. helleborine - widespread
  5. Epipactis helleborine subsp. latina W.Rossi & E.Klein - Italy, former Yugoslavia
  6. Epipactis helleborine subsp. leutei (Robatsch) Kreutz - Austria, Czech Republic
  7. Epipactis helleborine subsp. levantina Kreutz, Óvári & Shifman - Turkey
  8. Epipactis helleborine subsp. molochina (P.Delforge) Kreutz - Spain
  9. Epipactis helleborine subsp. neerlandica (Verm.) Buttler - Great Britain, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany
  10. Epipactis helleborine subsp. orbicularis (K.Richt.) E.Klein - Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Baltic Republics
  11. Epipactis helleborine subsp. schubertiorum (Bartolo, Pulv. & Robatsch) Kreutz - Italy
  12. Epipactis helleborine var. tangutica (Schltr.) S.C.Chen & G.H.Zhu - China
  13. Epipactis helleborine subsp. tremolsii (Pau) E.Klein - France, Spain, Portugal, Sardinia, Italy, Algeria, Morocco


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