AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Epipactis veratrifolia Boiss. & Hohen. in P.E.Boissier, Diagn. Pl. Orient. 13: 11 (1854).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Limodorum veratrifolium (Boiss. & Hohen.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 671 (1891), nom. illeg.
Arthrochilium veratrifolium (Boiss. & Hohen.) Szlach., Orchidee (Hamburg) 54: 588 (2003).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Epipactis amoena Buch.-Ham. ex Wall., Numer. List: 7403 (1832), nom. inval.
Epipactis consimilis Wall. ex Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 6: 126 (1890), nom. illeg.
Epipactis somaliensis Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 189 (1897).
Epipactis abyssinica Pax, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 39: 612 (1907).
Serapias somaliensis (Rolfe) A.A.Eaton, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 21: 67 (1908).
Helleborine consimilis Druce, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 36: 547 (1909).
Helleborine somaliensis (Rolfe) Druce, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 36: 547 (1909).
Amesia somaliensis (Rolfe) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr., Bot. Gaz. 56: 473 (1913).
Epipactis handelii Schltr., Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. 57: 274 (1920).
Epipactis wallichii Schltr., Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. 57: 275 (1920).
Arthrochilium handelii (Schltr.) Szlach., Orchidee (Hamburg) 54: 588 (2003).
Description:
Rootstock rhizomatous; stems 40-70cm leafy, tomentellous-pubescent. Leaves 1-5-3 x 3-20 cm, lanceolate-acuminate, with narrow, sheath-like base. Bracts leaf-like, each subtending much shorter flowers. Raceme 10-20 cm, with well-spaced flowers. Flowers 2-2-5 cm across, greenish-brown, campanulate. Sepals 6-8 x 12-5 mm, triangular to oblong-lanceolate, acute, pubescent, green. Petals 3-5m x 8-10 mm, triangular- lanceolate, acute, green with brownish-red margins especially around the base. Labellum about 12-16 mm, with a smaller ovate epichile and a larger ovate hypochile, green flushed with red-brown or whitish yellow mixing. Ovary narrow, green, extends to a narrow brown pedicel, tomentellous.
Habitat:
Salt marshes in tropical to subtropical regions. Fl. March-June.
Distribution:
Caucasus to Somalia and SC. China

Epipactis helleborine subsp. helleborine.
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Serapias helleborine var. latifolia L., Sp. Pl.: 950 (1753).
Serapias latifolia (L.) Huds., Fl. Angl.: 341 (1762).
Epipactis latifolia (L.) All., Fl. Pedem. 2: 151 (1785).
Serapias memoralis Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton: 8 (1796).
Cymbidium latifolium (L.) Sw., J. Bot. (Schrader) 2: 225 (1799).
Helleborine latifolia (L.) Moench, Suppl. Meth.: 311 (1802).
Epipactis consimilis D.Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal.: 28 (1825).
Epipactis uliginosa Vest, Flora 8: 493 (1825).
Epipactis herbacea Lindl. in J.F.Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal. Mts.: 368 (1839).
Epipactis macrostachya Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 461 (1840).
Epipactis helleborine var. platyphylla Irmisch, Linnaea 16: 451 (1842).
Epipactis latifolia var. platyphylla Irmisch, Linnaea 16: 451 (1842).
Epipactis ovalis Bab. in J.E.Sm., Engl. Bot., Suppl.: t. 2884 (1843).
Epipactis viridiflora Rupr., Beitr. Pflanzenk. Russ. Reiches 4: 83 (1847), nom. illeg.
Epipactis pycnostachys K.Koch, Linnaea 22: 289 (1849).
Epipactis dalhousiae Wight, Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. 5: t. 1723 (1851).
Epipactis intrusa Lindl., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 1: 175 (1857).
Epipactis helleborine subsp. latifolia Syme in J.E.Smith, Engl. Bot., ed. 3, 9: 124 (1869).
Epipactis latifolia subsp. ovalis (Bab.) Nyman, Consp. Fl. Eur.: 688 (1882).
Epipactis helleborine var. interrupta Beck, Fl. Nieder-Österreich: 214 (1890).
Epipactis latifolia var. intrusa (Lindl.) Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 6: 126 (1890).
Epipactis latifolia var. major Neilr., Fl. Nied.-Oesterr.: 214 (1890).
Epipactis latifolia var. thomsonii Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 6: 126 (1890).
Limodorum latifolium (L.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 671 (1891), nom. illeg.
Epipactis latifolia f. alba Webster, Brit. Orchids, ed. 2: 21 (1898).
Epipactis latifolia f. variegata Webster, Brit. Orchids, ed. 2: 22 (1898).
Calliphyllon latifolium (L.) Bubani, Fl. Pyren. 4: 56 (1901).
Epipactis atroviridis Linton, Fl. Derbyshire: 270 (1903).
Helleborine ovalis (Bab.) Druce, Ann. Scott. Nat. Hist. 1905: 48 (1905).
Epipactis helleborine var. brevibracteata Zapal., Consp. Fl. Gallic. Crit. 1: 226 (1906).
Epipactis helleborine var. lancifolia Zapal., Consp. Fl. Gallic. Crit. 1: 226 (1906).
Epipactis helleborine var. montana Zapal., Consp. Fl. Gallic. Crit. 1: 226 (1906).
Epipactis helleborine f. parviflora Zapal., Consp. Fl. Gallic. Crit. 1: 226 (1906).
Epipactis helleborine f. remota Zapal., Consp. Fl. Gallic. Crit. 1: 226 (1906).
Epipactis helleborine var. subrotundifolia Zapal., Consp. Fl. Gallic. Crit. 1: 226 (1906).
Helleborine atroviridis (Linton) F.Hanb. in H.C.Watson & auct. suc. (eds.), London Cat. Brit. Pl., ed. 10: 37 (1908).
Serapias consimilis (D.Don) A.A.Eaton, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 21: 67 (1908).
Helleborine pycnostachys (K.Koch) Druce, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 36: 547 (1909).
Helleborine latifolia var. platyphylla (Irmisch) Briq., Prodr. Fl. Corse 1: 385 (1910).
Amesia consimilis (D.Don) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr., Bot. Gaz. 56: 472 (1913).
Amesia latifolia (L.) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr., Bot. Gaz. 56: 472 (1913).
Amesia pycnostachys (K.Koch) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr., Bot. Gaz. 56: 472 (1913).
Epipactis squamellosa Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 4: 56 (1919).
Epipactis yunnanensis Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 4: 57 (1919).
Epipactis discolor Kraenzl., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 17: 100 (1921).
Epipactis monticola Schltr., Acta Horti Gothob. 1: 144 (1924).
Epipactis nephrocordia Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 19: 374 (1924).
Helleborine latifolia subsp. platyphylla (Irmisch) Graber, Mitt. Bot. Mus. Univ. Zürich 99: 185 (1924).
Amesia discolor (Kraenzl.) Hu, Rhodora 27: 105 (1925).
Amesia monticola (Schltr.) Hu, Rhodora 27: 105 (1925).
Amesia squamellosa (Schltr.) Hu, Rhodora 27: 106 (1925).
Amesia yunnanensis (Schltr.) Hu, Rhodora 27: 106 (1925).
Amesia latifolia f. monotropoides Mousley, Canad. Field-Naturalist 41: 30 (1927).
Amesia latifolia f. variegata Mousley, Canad. Field-Naturalist 41: 31 (1927).
Helleborine varians Soó, Bot. Arch. 23: 120 (1928).
Helleborine macrostachya (Lindl.) Soó, Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Natl. Hung. 26: 381 (1929).
Helleborine nephrocardia (Schltr.) Soó, Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Natl. Hung. 26: 382 (1929).
Helleborine squamellosa (Schltr.) Soó, Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Natl. Hung. 26: 382 (1929).
Helleborine yunnanensis (Schltr.) Soó, Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Natl. Hung. 26: 382 (1929).
Epipactis ligulata Hand.-Mazz., Symb. Sin. 7: 1341 (1936).
Epipactis micrantha E.Peter, Oesterr. Bot. Z. 86: 303 (1937), nom. illeg.
Epipactis helleborine f. alba (Webster) B.Boivin, Naturaliste Canad. 94: 524 (1967).
Epipactis helleborine f. variegata (Webster) B.Boivin, Naturaliste Canad. 94: 524 (1967).
Epipactis helleborine subsp. viridis Soó, Ann. Univ. Sci. Budapest. Rolando Eötvös, Sect. Biol. 11: 56 (1969).
Epipactis helleborine var. herbacea (Lindl.) S.N.Mitra, Indian Forester 99: 101 (1973).
Epipactis helleborine var. intrusa (Lindl.) S.N.Mitra, Indian Forester 99: 101 (1973).
Epipactis helleborine var. thomsonii (Hook.f.) S.N.Mitra, Indian Forester 99: 101 (1973).
Epipactis helleborine f. monotropoides (Mousley) Scoggan, Fl. Canada 1: 51 (1978).
Epipactis youngiana A.J.Richards & A.F.Porter, Watsonia 14: 125 (1982).
Epipactis helleborine var. minor R.Engel, Orchidophile (Asnières) 63: 663 (1984).
Epipactis helleborine f. albifolia M.R.Lowe, Vasculum 75: 3 (1990).
Epipactis helleborine subsp. transcaucasica A.P.Khokhr., Byull. Moskovsk. Obshch. Isp. Prir., Otd. Biol. 96(4): 107 (1991).
Epipactis helleborine subsp. minor (R.Engel) R.Engel, Clé Epipactis France: 1-16 (1992).
Epipactis voethii Robatsch, Mitt. Abt. Bot. Landesmus. "Joanneum" Graz 21-22: 22 (1993).
Epipactis helleborine f. luteola P.M.Br., N. Amer. Native Orchid J. 2: 318 (1996).
Epipactis helleborine var. youngiana (A.J.Richards & A.F.Porter) Kreutz, Kompend. Eur. Orchid.: 62 (2004).
Epipactis helleborine f. minor (R.Engel) P.Delforge, Naturalistes Belges 87(Orchids. 19): 259 (2006).
Epipactis helleborine subsp. moratoria Riech. & Zirnsack, Ber. Arbeitskreis. Heimische Orchid. 25(1): 80 (2008).
Description:
Flowers usually 7-40, larger. Abaxial sepal 8-13 mm. Petals 6.5--8 mm; labellum with two suborbicular warty lamellae on basal sides of epichil. Column 3-5 mm.
Habitat:
Forests, grasslands, wooded slopes, along streams; 200--3600 m.
Distribution:
N. Africa, Europe to C. China

Epipactis africana Rendle, J. Bot. 33: 252 (1895).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Serapias africana (Rendle) A.A.Eaton, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 21: 66 (1908).
Helleborine africana (Rendle) Druce, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 36: 546 (1909).
Amesia africana (Rendle) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr., Bot. Gaz. 56: 472 (1913).
Arthrochilium africanum (Rendle) Szlach., Orchidee (Hamburg) 54: 588 (2003).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Epipactis excelsa Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 43: 332 (1909).
Description:
An erect terrestrial herb up to 3.5 m tall, covered with brownish hairs in most parts. Stem up to 1 cm thick at the base, 2 cm thick in the middle, purplish or bluish green. Leaves arranged along the stem, at intervals of 5-10 cm, lanceolate to ovate, strongly veined, up to 20 cm long, 9 cm wide, the lowermost reduced to sheaths, uppermost bract-like. Inflorescence elongate, with several or many flowers. Flowers hanging, not very conspicuous, greyish purple on the outer surface, greenish yellow within, some orange-brown on the lip; dorsal sepal lanceolate, acuminate, 2 cm long; lateral sepals oblique, ovate, acuminate, slightly longer; petals lanceolate to ovate, up to 2.5 cm long, with a warty, keeled midvein on the outer surface; lip up to 2.5 cm long, hypochile concave, warty, bearing long side lobes, epichile broadly ovate, acute, margins upturned, the warty callus on the midline extending to the base.
Habitat:
In evergreen and bamboo forests on the mountains, also among Pteridium, Erica and patches of coarse grass by mountain streams; recorded from Mt Elgon, the Cherangani hills, Mau forests, Aberdares and Mt Kenya; 2300-3750 m; flowers between October and January.
Distribution:
SW. Ethiopia to N. Mozambique

Epipactis helleborine (Linnaeus) Crantz, Stirp. Austr. Fasc. ed. 2. 2: 467. 1769.
Homotypic Synonyms:
Serapias helleborine L., Sp. Pl.: 949 (1753).
Helleborine helleborine (L.) Druce, Bot. Soc. Exch. Club Brit. Isles 7: 689 (1924 publ. 1925), nom. inval.
Epipactis latifolia subsp. helleborine (L.) Rivas Goday & Borja, Anales Inst. Bot. Cavanilles 19: 537 (1961), nom. illeg.
Description:
Plants 25–80(–100) cm, sparsely to densely pubescent. Leaves 3–10, orbiculate, elliptic to narrowly lanceolate, 4–18 × 1.5–8.5 cm. Inflorescences racemes, loose to moderately dense, commonly 1-sided; floral bracts spreading, linear to narrowly lanceolate, 10–40(–70) mm, often exceeding flowers. Flowers 15–50, small; sepals greenish, often suffused with purple; lateral sepals 10–13 × 5–6 mm, apex oblique; petals ovate, pale green, pink, purple, or yellowish, 9–11 × 4–6 mm; lip indistinctly veined, constricted at middle into 2 parts, proximal part purplish to brownish, deeply concave, not papillose, 9–12 × 8 mm, distal part recurved, pink, broadly triangular-ovate, ± flat to tip, 5 × 5 mm; calli 2, near base, brownish, not rugose; column 3–6 mm; ovary glabrous. Capsules obovoid, 9–14 mm, glabrate to densely pubescent. 2n = 36, 38, 40, 44.
Habitat:
Epipactis helleborine grows in almost any habitat, in partial to full shade, but it is usually found under trees. It is quite widely distributed, I find it about anywhere I go, There are even five of them around my bungalow ! It is ecologically invasive and, in some places, it is considered as a weed.
Distribution:
NW. Africa, Europe to China
References:
J. Williams, A. Williams, N. Arlott (1978): A Field Guide to the Orchids of Britain and Europe.
Images:
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In culture  In culture  In culture 
epipactis helleborine forma alba  epipactis helleborine forma alba. close up  epipactis helleborine. close up 
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission.