Epipactis Leptochila, Narrow-Lipped Helleborine

Epipactis leptochila is sometimes classed as epipactis muelleri var muelleri, distinguished from the dune helleborine (epipactis muelleri var dunensis) by having the epichile longer than wide, and pointed at the tip, cf wider than long, and blunt at the tip (and curved under).

Common name:
Narrow-lipped helleborine
Scientific name:
Epipactis leptochila
Epipactis muelleri var muelleri
Main flower color:
Scattered places across southern England
Up to 70 cm
Shady beech woodland, on calcareous soils
Sepals are pale green, crossed by faint purple veins, while the two upper petals are similar, and slightly shorter. The lower part of the lip (the hypochile) is cupped, dark reddish-purple inside, while the upper portion, the epichile, is also cupped but narrower, extended to a narrow point, and pale purple inside. The anther, at the top of the column, is yellow, while the pollonia are red and the rostellum white.
Alternate, ovate, relatively broad, up to 10 cm in length, longer than the separation between adjacent leaves. Arranged in two rows rather than spirally
June to July