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Epipactis helleborine

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Epipactis helleborine, the broad-leaved helleborine, is a terrestrial species of orchid with a broad distribution. Its nodding flowers vary from greenish pink to purple. It prefers shaded woodland environments.

Description

Epipactis helleborine grows to a height of Template:Cvt and has broad dull green leaves which are strongly ribbed and flat. The flowers are arranged in 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.<ref>Webb, D.A., Parnell, J. and Doogue,D . 1996. An Irish Flora. Dundalgan Press (W. Tempest) Ltd. Dundalk.Template:ISBN</ref>

Distribution

This species is widespread across much of Europe and Asia, from Portugal to China, as well as northern Africa.<ref name="gwen">Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Species, Epipactis helleborine</ref><ref>Altervista Flora Italiana, Elleborine comune, Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz </ref><ref>Flora of China v 25 p 180, 火烧兰 huo shao lan, Epipactis helleborine (Linnaeus) Crantz</ref> 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.<ref>Flora of North America v 26 p 586, Epipactis helleborine (Linnaeus) Crantz</ref><ref>Biota of North America Program, county range map</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> In the US it is sometimes referred to as the "weed orchid" or "weedy orchid" and continues to spread throughout the country to new areas including Michigan,<ref>http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/homeowners_battling_a_weedy_orchid_invading_lawns_and_flowerbeds</ref> Wisconsin,<ref>http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/plants-to-watch.htm</ref> and the San Francisco Bay Area.<ref>http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=24407</ref>

Habitat

Found in woods and hedge-banks<ref>Clapham, A.R., Tutin, T.G. and Warburg, E.F. 1968. Excursion Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press Template:ISBN</ref> and often, in Belfast, not far from paths near human activity.<ref>Beesley, S. and Wild, J. 1997. Urban Flora of Belfast. Institute of Irish Studies and The Queen's University of Belfast. Template:ISBN</ref> It was even seen in Moscow, right in the middle of the city, including quite large populations. Eight varieties of Epipactis helleborine in central Europe (Lower Silesia, Poland) had their nectar studied and they were found to contain naturally occurring oxycodone (as well as another narcotic-like opioid) in minute amounts.<ref>“Why do pollinators become 'sluggish'? Nectar chemical constituents from Epipactis helleborine L. Crantz Orchidaceae”. Applied Ecology & Environmental Research. 2005;3(2):29-38. Jakubska A, Przado D, Steininger M, Aniol-Kwiatkowska A, Kadej M.</ref>

Subspecies

A rather long list of names have been proposed for subspecies, varieties and forms of Epipactis helleborine, far too many to list here.<ref name="newg"/> This is not unusual for such a widespread species. At present (June 2014) only the following are accorded international acceptance:<ref name="gwen"/>

  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

References

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External links

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