Broad-leaved helleborine

Broad-leaved Helleborine

©Philip Precey

Broad-leaved Helleborine

©Philip Precey

Broad-leaved helleborine

Enw gwyddonol: Epipactis helleborine
A tall orchid of woodland and scrub, the broad-leaved helleborine has greenish, purple-tinged flowers that look a little 'drooping'. Strongly veined, oval leaves spiral around its stem.

Species information


Height: up to 75cm

Statws cadwraethol


Pryd i'w gweld

July to September


The broad-leaved helleborine is a tall, dark orchid with leaves that spiral around the stem and purple-tinged, drooping flowers. It flowers from July to September and can mostly be seen in woodlands and scrub, but oddly prefers waste ground in and around the city of Glasgow.

Sut i'w hadnabod

The broad-leaved helleborine has broad, oval leaves, with strong veins, at its base, and smaller leaves that wind their way up its stem. A single flower spike has loose clusters of 'drooping' flowers that are greenish with a purple tinge.


Found throughout the UK, but most common in England and Northern Ireland.

Roeddech chi yn gwybod?

Some species of wasp and bee that are attracted to broad-leaved helleborines have been noted as becoming 'intoxicated' after visiting these orchids for nectar - it appears that the flowers can contain a kind of alcohol as a result of a fungus! The bees like it so much, they come back for more, ensuring the flower is pollinated.

Sut y gall bobl helpu

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. A mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting, ride maintenance and non-intervention all help woodland wildlife to thrive.