Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz

Broad Leaved Helleborine

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Epipactis latifolia, Serapias helleborine

Epipactis helleborine, or Broad Leaved Helleborine, is a non-native orchid, originating in Europe but with a wide distribution across eastern and central Canada and the United States, and disjunct populations on the West Coast. Flowering in the late summer and early fall, it produces up to 50 small flowers with greenish purple petals and sepals, and a divided labellum: the innermost part, closest to the column, is curved into a bowl-like shape and is purple or brown, often glossy on the inner side; the outer part is triangular and pink, green or white. It produces 3-10 leaves on its stem, which is covered with fine hairs.

In addition to disturbed habitats such as lawns, sidewalks, gardens, and roadsides, Epipactis helleborine grows in forests, swamps, and riverbeds. It grows so aggressively in some states, such as Wisconsin, that it is considered a weed.


In Europe, this orchid is known to be pollinated by wasps.

Ecosystem Type

Disturbed habitats, forests, swamps


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
  • three
  • four
  • five
  • six
  • seven or more
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is lobed
Main color of labellum:
  • blue to purple
  • green to brown
  • pink to red
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is saccate
Labellum length:
9–12 mm
Sepal length:
10–13 mm
Plant height:
20–100 cm
Show All Characteristics

Native to North America


North American Conservation Status & Distribution

Conservation Status

Select a location to view conservation status:

Conservation and Wetland Status
Global Rank N/A
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data