Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Thirtieth Orchid of the Season
The Broad-leaved Helleborine, Epipactis helleborine, is not a native but a European transplant that is well established here. We saw it, though not yet blooming, in Olympic National Park, and these photos were taken shortly after in the Chuckanut Mountains south of Bellingham. There is considerable color variation in the flowers and these show some of that variation, ranging from deep purple to green. There were fewer plants than usual and most of them were also shorter than usual. On some plants the flowers had never opened but simply dried up, due I'm sure to the lack of rain and the excessive heat of the past few months. We've seen plants as tall as 90 cm but the tallest of these plants were only 60 cm. The individual flowers were 1-3 cm across.