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Helleborine orchid

Helleborine orchid (Epipactis helleborine)

Perennial forb in the Orchid family that gets to be 1-3’ tall. Several stems appear and are covered with a sparse woolly hair.


Regulated areas of helleborine orchid
Helleborine orchid is Restricted (Orange counties)

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: broad-leaved helleborine
  • Scientific names: Amesia latifolia; Epipactis latifolia; Serapia helleborine

Ecological threat:

  • Found in deciduous forests where there is limestone bedrock.
  • May have limited distribution due to specialized mycorrhizae fungi relationship.

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for helleborine orchid was based upon this literature review developed by the department.


Leaves: Many (3-30), alternate, clasping, oval-elliptical, prominent parallel veins.

Flowers: 6-parted, lip is green-purple; petals and sepals dull green with purple veins; 4-12” one-sided raceme; bracts below flowers are longer than the petals; bloom July-August; flowers are nodding.

Fruits & seeds: Egg shaped capsules.

Roots: Tightly clustered fibrous roots.


Known county distribution of helleborine orchid
Counties in WI where helleborine orchid has been reported (as of July 2011). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.

Do you have helleborine orchid in your county but it isn't shaded on the map? Send us a report.


Mechanical: Hand pulling is effective in controlling this species.

Chemical: Not needed.


View helleborine orchid pictures in our photo gallery!


Sources for content:

  • Czarapata, Elizabeth; Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: an illustrated guide to their identification and control. University of Wisconsin Press. 2005. Pg. 104-105
  • Hapeman, Jeffery. Orchids of Wisconsin: Epipactis helleborine [exit DNR].
  • Ogura-Tsujita, Yuki and Yukawa, Tomohisa. Publisher: Springer Berlin/ Heidelberg; ISSN: 0940-6360 (Print) 1432-1890 (Online); Issue: Volume 18, Numbers 6-7/September 2008; Pages: 331-338; Subject Collection: Biomedical and Life Sciences; Tsukuba Botanical Garden, National Museum of Nature and Science, 4-1-1 Amakubo. Tsukuba 305-0005. Japan

Links for More Information

Last revised: Friday May 31 2019