RED HELLEBORINE

Cephalanthera rubra

Orchid Family [Orchidaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8bicolour
 
flower
flower8mauve
 
flower
flower8white
 
morph
morph8zygo
 
petals
petalsZ5 petalsZ2
only 2
type
typeZspiked
 
stem
stem8round
 
rarity
rarityZrare
 

June, Near Gourdon, Lot region of France Photo: © Kelly Finney
Sinuous in form, finding it hard to stand erect with up to 6 large pink well-separated flowers, each with a narrow pointed bract which is longer than the (twisted) ovary (flower stalk in Orchids). Leaves dark-green.


June, Near Gourdon, Lot region of France Photo: © Kelly Finney
Flowers in bud similar to those of small Fresia. Both petals and sepals are long and pointed. The hood is loose-fitting and the lip, short but pointed, hardly noticable. Stem covered in short hairs.


June, Near Gourdon, Lot region of France Photo: © Kelly Finney
The lip is narrow and pointed, white bodied and fringed pink with a pale yellow centre.


June, Near Gourdon, Lot region of France Photo: © Kelly Finney
The flower consists of three pink outer outwardly curving sepals, two inner outwardly-curving dorsal petals, and a down-curving lip; all pointed. The outer surfaces of all flower parts, petals and sepals, are covered in short glandular hairs.


Not to be semantically confused with : Hellebores [plants with similar names but which belong to the Buttercup Family [Ranunculaceae]]

Not to be confused semantically with : Dark-Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens) [another Helleborine but from a differing Genus] which has dark-red flowers.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Although some or all the photographs above were taken in France, this Helleborine does (or did) grow in the UK too, although it is very very rare. As your Author writes, botanists are striving to find if any still exist in past known locations (2018).

It is now (2007?) part of Natural Englands'  'Species Recovery Programme' [That link no longer works, but apparently the Species Recovery Programme is still going strong, but your Author cannot find a URL link to it, only to an old 2001 PDF document or a 2007 government-archived document (it is 2018 now). So, although work continues on recovering rare species, this effort is not being widely publicised by governmental departments].

But it appears that there is also now a (registered charity status) Species Recovery Trust which has designs on recovering a few very rare species, listed here, but Red Helleborine is not one of those species.


  Cephalanthera rubra  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Orchidaceae  

Distribution
 family8Orchid family8Orchidaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Cephalanthera
Cephalanthera
(Helleborines)

RED HELLEBORINE

Cephalanthera rubra

Orchid Family [Orchidaceae]