Epipactis Zinn, Cat. Pl. Hort. Gott.: 85 (1757), nom. cons.
Limodorum Ludw. ex Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 671 (1891), nom. illeg.
Helleborine Mill., Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 4 (1754).
Limonias Ehrh., Beitr. Naturk. 4: 147 (1789).
Arthrochilium Beck, Fl. Nieder-Österreich 1: 212 (1890).
Calliphyllon Bubani, Fl. Pyren. 4: 56 (1901).
Amesia A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr., Bot. Gaz. 56: 472 (1913).
Parapactis W.Zimm., Mitt. Bad. Landesvereins Naturk., n.f., 1: 232 (1922).
Terrestrial, occasionally saprophytic herbs with horizontal or vertical, very short rhizomes, numerous fleshy roots and simple, erect, leafy stems. Leaves ovate or lanceolate, plicate, occasionally very small. Flowers in ± secund racemes, rather inconspicuous, spreading or pendulous, shortly pedicelled. Tepals spreading or remaining closed, dull reddish or greenish. Sepals free, subequal. Petals scarcely smaller than sepals. Lip usually in 2 parts articulated by a narrow joint or fold (mesochile); the basal part (hypochile) forms a nectar-containing cup often with a pair of basal bosses; the apical part (epichile) forms a ± cordate or triangular downwardly directed terminal lobe; spur absent. Column short, flat or concave in front with a shallow cup at apex; anther free, hinged at the back of the summit of the column, behind the stigma and rostellum, ovate, slightly convex, 2-celled; pollinia 2, tapering towards their apices near which they are attached to the rostellum, each ± divided longitudinally into halves; caudicles absent; pollen grains forming’ friable masses loosely bound by fine threads; stigma prominent, broad; rostellum placed centrally above the stigma, large, globular, persistent, evanescent or absent. Capsule oblong, spreading or pendulous.
The type species:
Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz
The name Epipactis is an ancient Greek word for which helleborine is an alternative.
Temp. & Subtrop. to Malawi
Some of the European and Chinese species are grown without difficulty as pot plants. Maintained in a suitable soil mix, with proper attention to a resting period or winter conditions, they make attractive specimens in an alpine house and some-times outside. A few hybrids have also been created and are easily grown. Because of its great length the African species would be rather difficult to manage in a pot, but plants might succeed in frost-free gardens.
|Epipactis africana Rendle||SW. Ethiopia to Malawi.|
|Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz||N. Africa, Europe to C. China.|
|Epipactis lusitanica D.Tyteca,||C. & S. Portugal to SW. Spain, Morocco.|
|Epipactis tremolsii Pau,||W. & C. Medit.|
|Epipactis ulugurica Mansf.||Tanzania (Uluguru Mts.).|
|Epipactis veratrifolia Boiss. & Hohen.||Caucasus to Somalia and SC. China.|
World Checklist of Monocotyledons. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/monocots/ accessed 05/07/2020
Bibliography and References:
Gevaudan A, Delforge P. 2004 Epipactis xrobatschii nothosp. nat. nov. Nat. Belg. 85. 72-76
Pedersen HA, Faurholdt N, Reinhardt J. 2004 Epipactis leptochila x phyllanthes: an unexpected new natural hybrid. Orchid Rev. 112. (1257): 151-154 (2004)