Epipactis Purpurata, Violet Helleborine

There is one named variety of epipactis purpurata, var rosea, for which all plant parts are tinged rose-pink; leaves lack chlorophyll, and plants are parasitic.

Common name:
Violet helleborine
Scientific name:
Epipactis purpurata
Main flower color:
Scattered locations in south England
Up to 80 cm
Shady woodland, often beech, on chalky or clayish soils
Three greenish-white sepals, relatively broad, two similar-looking upper petals, and a whitish, jointed lower petal, purplish at the centre. Flowers form in a dense, elongated cluster, and each is subtended by a leaf-like bract, similar in length
Narrowly lanceolate, ascending at around 45 degrees above the plane. Greyish-green above, purplish below, crossed by prominent purplish veins. Leaves are spirally arranged along the stem, which has a covering of downy hairs and is also often flushed with purple
August to September