West Highland Flora

Dark Red Helleborine


Epipactis atrorubens

 

Photo Abigail Cowley Rhodes
2011 Invernaver

Rare, on limestone rock ledges or crevices.  In our area not found south of Skye.

Height c 10-35 cm.  Flower diameter c 9-12 mm.  Lowest petal of flower c 6 mm long.

ID: Leaves folded, each enclosing the base of the next, in two rows.  Upper stem downy, flowers deep red, the cup-shaped basal section of the lowest petal being green with a red margin and red spots inside.  Not likely to be confused with any other orchid except Broad-leaved Helleborine, which has greenish-red flowers and an all-dark inside to the cup.

Other features: Lower leaves purple-tinged.  Lowest petal of flower is in two parts with a folded joint between; the basal part is a cup (the hypochile) containing nectar, and the outer part (the epichile) looks like a normal orchid lip.

 

Photo Abigail Cowley Rhodes
2011 Invernaver

 

Photo Abigail Cowley Rhodes
2011 Invernaver

 

Photo Abigail Cowley Rhodes
2011 Invernaver

 

Epipactis atrorubens

Photo Carl Farmer
4 Jul 2004 Torrin, Skye
Bract on LH nr base c 15 mm long

 

Epipactis atrorubens

Photo Carl Farmer
4 Jul 2004 Torrin, Skye
Bract on LH side c 15 mm long

The above 2 pictures show the plant in bud
 

Epipactis atrorubens

Photo Carl Farmer
21 Jun 2004 Druim an Aonaich, Raasay
Vertical height of plant c 8 cm



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