Marsh Helleborine

Latin name: Epipactis palustris

Family: Orchidaceae

The marsh helleborine is one of about 50 wild orchid species found in Britain. Its Latin species name 'palustris' means 'marsh' and refers to the habitat where this orchid can be found.

In the British Isles, Marsh heleborines occur on fens, in alkaline-rich marshy fields and on sand dune slacks (the valley between sand dunes). It is found in northern parts of the British Isles, ranging from northern England to central Scotland. Although the Marsh helleborine is uncommon in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it can be found on some calcareous flushes, fens and swamps including in Upper Wharfedale. The best time to spot it is when it is in flower; between July and September.

At risk?

The Marsh helleborine is now extinct from many formerly occupied inland sites in the British Isles and it's important that we protect its natural habitats wherever possible.

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The unfolding of Grass Wood throughout the year is a story of rich fulfilment. From 'Wharfedale' by Ella Pontefract & Marie Hartley

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