Broad-leaved Helleborine

┬ęPhilip Precey

Broad-leaved Helleborine

┬ęPhilip Precey

Broad-leaved helleborine

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Scientific name: Epipactis helleborine
A tall orchid of woodland and scrub, the broad-leaved helleborine has greenish, purple-tinged flowers that look a little 'drooping'. Strongly veined, oval leaves spiral around its stem.

Top facts


Height: up to 75cm

Conservation status


When to see

July to September


The broad-leaved helleborine is a tall, dark orchid with leaves that spiral around the stem and purple-tinged, drooping flowers. It flowers from July to September and can mostly be seen in woodlands and scrub, but oddly prefers waste ground in and around the city of Glasgow.

What to look for

The broad-leaved helleborine has broad, oval leaves, with strong veins, at its base, and smaller leaves that wind their way up its stem. A single flower spike has loose clusters of 'drooping' flowers that are greenish with a purple tinge.

Where to find

Found throughout the UK, but most common in England and Northern Ireland.

Did you know?

Some species of wasp and bee that are attracted to broad-leaved helleborines have been noted as becoming 'intoxicated' after visiting these orchids for nectar - it appears that the flowers can contain a kind of alcohol as a result of a fungus! The bees like it so much, they come back for more, ensuring the flower is pollinated.