Epipactis atrorubens

Epipactis atrorubens

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Neottieae
SubTribe: Limodorinae
Genus: Epipactis
Species: Epcts. atrorubens
Binomial name
Epipactis atrorubens
(Hoffmann ex Bernhardi) Besser 1826

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


  1. Amesia atropurpurea (Raf.) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr. 1913
  2. Amesia rubiginosa (Crantz) Mousley 1926
  3. Epipactis atropurpurea Raf. 1810
  4. Epipactis atrorubens f. sirneensis Neirynck 1995
  5. Epipactis atrorubens subsp. borbasii Soó 1968
  6. Epipactis atrorubens subsp. danubialis (Robatsch & Rydlo) Ciocârlan & R.Rösler 2004
  7. Epipactis atrorubens subsp. triploidea Gelbrecht & Hamel 1987
  8. Epipactis danubialis Robatsch & Rydlo 1989
  9. Epipactis helleborine var. rubiginosa Crantz 1769
  10. Epipactis latifolia Less. 1834
  11. Epipactis latifolia var. rubiginosa (Crantz) Gaudin 1829
  12. Epipactis macropodia Peterm. 1841
  13. Epipactis media Fr., Novit 1839
  14. Epipactis microphylla Sieber ex Nyman 1882
  15. Epipactis rubiginosa (Crantz) W.D.J. Koch
  16. Helleborine atropurpurea (Rafinesque) Schinz & Thellung 1908
  17. Helleborine atrorubens (G. Hoffm.) Druce 1907
  18. Helleborine media (Fr.) Druce 1905
  19. Helleborine rubiginosa (Crantz) Samp 1913
  20. Limodorum rubiginosum (Crantz) Kuntze 1891
  21. *Serapias atrorubens G. Hoffm. 1791
  22. Serapias latifolia O.F.Müll. 1780
  23. Serapias latifolia Hoffm. 1804
  24. Serapias latifolia (L.) Huds. var atrorubens Hoffmann
  25. Serapias sylvestris Murray ex Steud. 1821


PDF iconSelfing potential in Epipactis palustris , E. helleborine and E. atrorubens (Orchidaceae)

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.