Broad-leaved Helleborines


The Broad-leaved Hellborine is becoming my favourite British Orchid. It shows quite a degree of variation of colour, even within a population. The colours are both subtle and tasteful, and the flowers are rather elegant - at least when open.

This colour variation may be either ecological or genetic factors. I favour genetic. The Epipactis genus is considered to have derived from the proto-Broad-leaved Helleborine, this spectrum of colours seen throughout the genus could be still present in the genes of the modern population. E. helleborine shows a large another of heterozygosity without regional variations, indicating high levels of gene flow in the past when much of Europe was forested.