Epipactis atrorubens is an herbaceous plant from the family Orchidaceae.
The plant is hardy and has a short rootstalk, often with multiple, fleshy roots. It blooms from June to August with erect, mostly purple inflorescences with dense hair on the tops, standing between 20 and 80 cm in height. The blossoms emit a strong vanilla scent, especially in warm weather. The flowers sometimes vary in color, but are in general reddish-brown, and they are often pollenized by insects, particularly bees. The fruit is a capsule, out of which the light, dustlike seeds are spread by the wind. A number of natural hybrids with other Epipactis species are known.
The Dark Red Helleborine favors warm and dry locations, with soil basic to neutral in pH, nutrient-poor, and permeable. It grows in loose rock, scree, or sandy soils above a limestone substrate, including dunes, lawns, or open forest. It is also a pioneer species, which settles in fallow areas, road embankments, and waste dumps, in the early to middle stages of ecological succession, among communities of grass and bush and light birch stands. Along with many other species of orchids, it is protected in some countries.
Plantlife designated the Dark Red Helleborine as the county flower for Banffshire, Scotland.
The Dark Red Helleborine is widespread across Europe, and is found in the north to the subarctic, in the south to the meridional zone, and in the east to Central Siberia and the Caucasus. The orchid grows at elevations from 0 to 2400 m, and so can be found in mountainous regions such as the southern Alps. In Central Europe is the plant, like all orchid species, in decline in recent decades. It is not, however, one of the severely threatened species of orchid.
Plant prefers areas with moderate light and cool temperatures. Grow plants in a well drain mix of soil, perlite, and sand. Keep the medium constantly moist but not soaking wet and do not let it dry out.
Common Names: Dark Red Helleborine, Royal Helleborine, The Black-Red Epipactis , The Broad-Leaved Helleborine
- Amesia atropurpurea (Raf.) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr. 1913
- Amesia rubiginosa (Crantz) Mousley 1926
- Epipactis atropurpurea Raf. 1810
- Epipactis atrorubens f. sirneensis Neirynck 1995
- Epipactis atrorubens subsp. borbasii Soó 1968
- Epipactis atrorubens subsp. danubialis (Robatsch & Rydlo) Ciocârlan & R.Rösler 2004
- Epipactis atrorubens subsp. triploidea Gelbrecht & Hamel 1987
- Epipactis danubialis Robatsch & Rydlo 1989
- Epipactis helleborine var. rubiginosa Crantz 1769
- Epipactis latifolia Less. 1834
- Epipactis latifolia var. rubiginosa (Crantz) Gaudin 1829
- Epipactis macropodia Peterm. 1841
- Epipactis media Fr., Novit 1839
- Epipactis microphylla Sieber ex Nyman 1882
- Epipactis rubiginosa (Crantz) W.D.J. Koch
- Helleborine atropurpurea (Rafinesque) Schinz & Thellung 1908
- Helleborine atrorubens (G. Hoffm.) Druce 1907
- Helleborine media (Fr.) Druce 1905
- Helleborine rubiginosa (Crantz) Samp 1913
- Limodorum rubiginosum (Crantz) Kuntze 1891
- *Serapias atrorubens G. Hoffm. 1791
- Serapias latifolia O.F.Müll. 1780
- Serapias latifolia Hoffm. 1804
- Serapias latifolia (L.) Huds. var atrorubens Hoffmann
- Serapias sylvestris Murray ex Steud. 1821