Broad-leaved helleborine

Epipactis helleborine ssp.tremolsii

The broad-leaved helleborine (Epipactis helleborine ssp.tremolsii) is an orchid up to two feet tall. Its broad leaves are arranged in spiral along the stem until the inflorescence where they become small, narrow bracts. The plant is green with a reddish discoloration, though, mainly in flowers, not as intense as in Epipactis atrorubens. The inflorescence has many small flowers. Every flower has acute, green petals and sepals, then the labelum. The labelum splits in two parts, on top the flat, white or greenish coloured epichile that may partially cover the pollinia, and down the mesochile as a flesh coloured pot, then the flat, white o pinkish coloured hypochile.

Main habitat of broad leaved epipactis are forest clearings, mainly those in evergreen oak woods. In the district of Bages broad-leaved helleborine is located in both mountain natural parks, Montserrat and Sant Llorenç del Munt i L’Obac. However, its presence in the plain (Pla de Bages) or in the northern of Bages is not yet known. The broad-leaved helleborine is largely distributed in the holartic with several subspecies.

[photos Jordi Badia]