Helleborine, Green-flowered

Information on Green-flowered Helleborine

Common Name: Green-flowered Helleborine
Scientific Name: Epipactis phyllanthes
Irish Name: Cuaichín glas
Family Group: Orchidaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Green-flowered Helleborine could sometimes be confused with:

Helleborine, Broad-leaved,

One of Ireland’s rarest orchids, this species is only found in a few locations in Ireland. A native perennial, it grows to about 45cm high and bears up to 40 small, pale green flowers in slender spikes. These pendent flowers often remain closed as it is a species that self-pollinates, the pollen crumbling within the flower onto the female part. If a flower is open, the pale green lip can be seen to be flushed with pink. The leaves are in 2 opposite ranks, oval-elliptical and veined. This species is usually found in shaded areas under trees, in wet riverside woodland and in beech and birch woods. It blends into the background so well that it is quite difficult to see it at first. Flowering from July to August, it is also quite a variable plant species which makes it difficult to identify. This is a member of the Orchid/Orchidaceae family.

I would never have seen this magnificent species, nor been able to identify it if I had seen it, had it not been for the generous help of a good friend, J O’Connell, who found a colony of these plants in Co Kildare. Thanks to him, I saw it in 2018 when I also photographed it.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

This species is rare throughout Ireland and is classified in the Red Data List of 2016 as ‘Endangered’.

For more information about the orchid family see Gill Books - Nature - Ireland's Wild Orchids

Helleborine, Green-flowered
Helleborine, Green-flowered
Helleborine, Green-flowered
Helleborine, Green-flowered