AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Epipactis tremolsii Pau, Bol. Soc. Aragonesa Ci. Nat. 13: 43 (1914).
Homotypic Names:
Helleborine atropurpurea var. tremolsii (Pau) Soó, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 24: 34 (1927).
Epipactis atropurpurea var. tremolsii (Pau) Schltr. in G.Keller & al., Monogr. Iconogr. Orchid. Eur. 1: 274 (1928).
Epipactis helleborine subsp. tremolsii (Pau) E.Klein, Orchidee (Hamburg) 30: 49 (1979).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Epipactis cardina Benito & C.E.Hermos., Estud. Mus. Cienc. Nat. Álava 13: 109 (1998).
Epipactis tremolsii var. viridiflora J.Benito, Estud. Mus. Cienc. Nat. Álava 14: 30 (1999).
Epipactis duriensis Bernardos, D.Tyteca, Revuelta & Amich, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 145: 241 (2004).
Epipactis tremolsii var. duriensis (Bernardos, D.Tyteca, Revuelta & Amich) P.Delforge, Naturalistes Belges 85: 251 (2004).
Epipactis tremolsii subsp. duriensis (Bernardos, D.Tyteca, Revuelta & Amich) Kreutz, Kompend. Eur. Orchid.: 67 (2004).
Epipactis tremolsii subsp. cardina (Benito & C.E.Hermos.) Kreutz, Eurorchis 17: 106 (2005).
Description:
Epipactis tremolsii is a robust looking plant with downy stems which grow to around 60cm in height. The oval and quite broad lower leaves have wavy margins which are mainly green but sometimes flushed red. They form closely overlapping clusters at the base of the stem. The upper leaves are much narrower and pointed and occur throughout the extended flower spike which covers most of the stem. The flowers only open partially and the petals and sepals remain incurved. They are often quite dark red with a glossy brown-to-crimson hypochile in the centre of the lip. The epichile (base of the flower lip) is heart-shaped with pronounced wrinkled bosses.
Habitat:
Found in woods and hedge-banks.
Flowering times:
This orchid flowers from the beginning of April to the end of May.
History:
Epipactis tremolsii was first described by C. Pau from Barcelona, Spain in 1914 and was named in honour of the eminent 19th century Spanish botanist, F. Tremols y Borrell. It is a member of the Epipactis tremolsii group which are all characterised by strongly hairy stems and short, broad leaves which tend to be densest towards bottom third of the flowering stem .
Distribution:
W. & C. Medit.
References:
Pierre Delforge (2005) Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East; A&C Black
Images:
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Epipactis lusitanica D.Tyteca, Orchidophile (Deuil-la-Barre) 84: 218 (1988).
Homotypic Names:
Epipactis tremolsii subsp. lusitanica (D.Tyteca) Kreutz, Kompend. Eur. Orchid.: 68 (2004).
Epipactis helleborine subsp. lusitanica (D.Tyteca) J.-M.Tison, Biocosme Mésogéen 27: 125 (2010), with incorrect basionym ref.
Description:
The status of this orchid as a full species is not widely accepted, with many authorities preferring the view that it is simply a variety of Epipactis tremolsii. It is an extremely variable orchid that can arise in a range of colouration, size and appearance and consequently can often closely imitate other species. Due to the limited distribution of the species in southern Portugal and south west Spain this propensity for imitation can really only create identification difficulties with one other species - Epipactis tremolsii. This does however occur and where the two species grow together on acidic substrates they can be very difficult to separate. Epipactis lusitanica is normally a less robust plant, growing no higher than 50cms, with fewer leaves and paler colouration but the flowers themselves offer little by way of a means of species separation. It is thought that this species along with the other members of the group, developed from a common ancestor, perhaps Epipactis helleborine or Epipactis atrorubens as adaptations to an increasingly Xeric environment.
History:
Epipactis lusitanica was first described by D. Tyteca from the Algarve, Portugal in 1988 and its name literally means " from Portugal ". It is a member of the small, five species Epipactis tremolsii group, all of which are characterized by strongly hirsuit stems and short, broad leaves which tend to be clustered towards the base of the stem.
Habitat:
Epipactis lusitanica is an orchid restricted to acid soils, where as with many other Epipactis species it prefers a shady position in woodland clearings and edges.
Distribution:
C. & S. Portugal to SW. Spain, Morocco
References:
Orchidophile (Deuil-la-Barre) 84: 218 (1988).
Images:
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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 ulugurica Mansf., Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 11: 1060 (1934).
Homotypic Names:
Arthrochilium uluguricum (Mansf.) Szlach., Orchidee (Hamburg) 54: 588 (2003).
Description:
An erect terrestrial herb to ± 1.5 m. tall. Stem terete, ± 5-8 mm. diameter, leafy in upper half, covered with sheathing cataphylls below. Leaves erect to spreading, ovate, acuminate, up to 16 cm. long and 7.4 cm. broad, densely many-nerved. Inflorescence erect, densely to laxly many-flowered, up to 20 cm. long; rhachis and bracts densely covered with brown hairs; bracts leafy, lanceolate, acuminate, lowermost 6 cm. long, 1.5 cm. broad, as long as the flowers. Flowers yellow-green to orange, red or mauve streaked, densely villose-hairy on outer surface. Dorsal sepal ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 1.5-1.9 cm. long, 0.6 cm. broad, margins undulate; lateral sepals lanceolate-falcate, acuminate, 1.7-2 cm. long, 0.8 cm. broad. Petals lanceolate, acuminate, 1.5 cm. long, 0.5 cm. broad, pubescent on outer surface, margins undulate. Lip bipartite but apparently deeply 3-lobed, saccate at base, 1.7 cm. long, 1.6 cm. broad; hypochile with 3 longitudinal fleshy calli terminating in 5 fleshy papillae, with large oblong-elliptic side lobes 0.8 cm. long and 0.5 cm. broad; epichile ovate-lanceolate from a narrow base, subacute, with a central longitudinal fleshy ridge. Column 0.6 cm. long; anther 0.5 cm. long.
Habitat:
In subalpine bushland and mist forest; 2150-2600 m.
Distribution:
Tanzania (Uluguru Mts.)
References:
Flora of tropical east Africa (part 2
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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.