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The helleborine is an orchid with a heavy reliance on fungi.  It's flowers differ slightly from "normal" orchids with the plant being typically taller and thinner than other orchids.






Marsh Helleborine 07


Marsh helleborine

Kenfig NNR, Wales, June 20th 2007.


One of the most attractive plants in the UK, in my opinion.  It occurs locally but usually en-masse in good marshy habitat.





Dark Red Helleborine 06





Dark Red Helleborine 11






Dark Red Helleborine 02



Dark red helleborine

Co. Durham, July 2008.



An outrageously colourful helleborine that grows on thin calcareous soils in July. A real stunner.






Dune Helleborine 01                                                                                                     Lindisfarne Helleborine 02



     Dune  helleborine                                           Lindisfarne helleborine


Helleborines tend to be bland in colour....and also controversial.

Left is a dune helleborine growing on toxic waste dumps in the North Pennines.  Right is on a dune. Both photographed in early July 2008.

However, neither is considered a true dune helleborine anymore!  The left is often called the Tyne Helleborine, the right is the Lindisfarne Helleborine.  Both are considered full species by some.  Below you can see the difference is in the detail .... maybe!  This sort of minor variation used to be called "variants" until the DNA bandwagon allowed scientists to publish papers like it were toilet roll!!




Dune Helleborine 07b                                                                          Lindisfarne Helleborine 04






White Helleborine 11




White Helleborine 14                                                                  White Helleborine 08



White helleborine

Herefordshire, June 2008.


The flowers of the white helleborine hardly ever open, but nevertheless is a subtly attractive plant that grows in the gloomy shadows of beech woodland.  The top photo is not a flashed photo but natural light falling on the flower but not the dark tree behind.




Narrow Lipped Helleborine 1 (S)



Narrow-lipped helleborine

Oxfordshire, July 1999.


A scare and declining plant found in ancient beech woodland. 

It doesn't like light or ground cover, hence conspicuous where it grows, and therefore, easy to graze by sheep or deer.




Broad Leaved Helleborine 2 (S)




Broad Leaved Helleborine 02


Broad leaved helleborine

Ryton Woods, Warwickshire, August 2002.



Usually spindly, weak looking and difficult to photograph.




Red Helleborine 04


Red helleborine

Gloucestershire, June 2007.



One of the rarest orchids in the UK.  Here is one of three plants that flowered in 2007.




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