Epipactis palustris

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Marsh helleborine
Epipactis palustris 230705.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Epipactis
Species: E. palustris
Binomial name
Epipactis palustris

Epipactis palustris (marsh helleborine[1]) is an orchid native to Europe, Turkey, north Iraq, the Caucasus, north Iran, West and East Siberia and Central Asia.[2][3] This species occurs in the Sarmatic mixed forests ecoregion.[4]


This species has a stem growing to 60 cm high with erect leaves up to 12 cm long. The flowers are 17 mm across arranged in a one-sided raceme. In the typical form, the sepals are coloured deep pink or purplish-red, the upper petals shorter and paler. The labellum at least as long as the sepals, white with red or yellow spots in the middle.[5] Variants without most of the reddish colours of the typical form have been called E. palustris var. ochroleuca.[6]

Variation in flower colour


  1. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  2. ^ "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". 
  3. ^ "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families TDWG Geocodes" (PDF). 
  4. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2011. "Sarmatic mixed forests". Topic ed. Sidney Draggan. Ed.-in-chief Cutler J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment
  5. ^ Webb, D.A., Parnell, J. and Doogue, D. 1996. An Irish Flora Dundalgan Press Ltd, Dundalk. ISBN 0-85221-131-7
  6. ^ Davies, Paul; Davies, Paul; Huxley, Anthony (1983). Wild Orchids of Britain and Europe. London: Chatto & Windus. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7011-2642-1. 

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