Epipactis atrorubens (Hoffm.) Besser, 1809
Common names: Dark Red Helleborine, Royal Helleborine [En], Épipactis pourpre noirâtre [Fr], Bruinrode wespenorchis [Nl], Braunrote Stendelwurz [De], Elleborina violacea [It], Heleborina rojo oscuro [Es], Επιπακτίς η μελανέρυθρος [Gr], Albindallı [Tu]
Durbuy, LUXEMBOURG ● Belgium
Description: Herbaceous plant with a short rootstalk, often with multiple, fleshy roots. The erect, mostly purple inflorescences have dense hair on the tops, standing between 20 and 80 cm in height. The blossoms emit a strong vanilla scent, especially in warm weather. The flowers sometimes vary in color, but are in general reddish-brown. The fruit is a capsule, out of which the light, dustlike seeds are spread by the wind. A number of natural hybrids with other Epipactis species are known.
Biology: The Dark Red Helleborine favours warm and dry locations, with soil basic to neutral in pH, nutrient-poor, and permeable. It grows in loose rock, scree, or sandy soils above a limestone substrate, including dunes, lawns, or open forest. It is also a pioneer species, which settles in fallow areas, road embankments, and waste dumps, in the early to middle stages of ecological succession, among communities of grass and bush and light birch stands.
It blooms from June to August. The flowers are often pollinated by insects, particularly bees.
Habitat: The orchid grows at altitudes from sea level to 2400 m, and so can be found in mountainous regions such as the southern Alps.
Distribution: Europe, in the north to the subarctic, in the south to the meridional zone, and in the east to Central Siberia and the Caucasus.
Protection: Along with many other species of orchids, it is protected in some countries. In Central Europe it has been in decline in recent decades. It is not, however, one of the most severely threatened species of orchid.
Wikipedia, Epipactis atrorubens