Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)
Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake From All-Creatures.org Art and Photo Journals and Galleries Directory

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Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)
Table of Contents

Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 01
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 01)  We spotted these helleborine growing in our yard. This one is about 1 foot tall, but they can grow up to 3 feet in height.  Helleborine is a member of the orchid family (Orchidaceae), and was imported from Europe, where it is native.  The flower stock (raceme) in the background is going to seed.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 02
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 02)  This is a photo of a helleborine flower stock on which the blooms are fading. Helleborine flowers can vary in size from 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter, with each having 3 strongly keeled sepals, two shorter lateral petals with a 3rd saclike petal with triangular lip that bends back under the sac.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 03
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 03)  The helleborine flower color is officially listed as being green, but sometimes they can have a lavender tint.  Helleborine grow in woods, thickets, and on roadside banks.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 04
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 04)  The helleborine flowers emerge from the axils of tiny bracts.  In this photo, we can also observe the underside of the sepals and have a side view of one of the flowers.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 05
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 05)  The helleborine leaves grow alternately along the entire length of the stem.  They are deeply veined, mostly sessile, and clasping.  The leaves are lanceolate in shape with the lower leaves being broadly lanceolate.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 05a
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 05a)  In this close up side view of a helleborine leaf, we have an excellent look at the deep (strong) veining.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 06
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 06)  In this side view of the helleborine, we have a good perspective of how the stem continues to grow into the flowering raceme.  We believe that at the point where the leaves end, the raceme begins, and that the tiny leaf-like structures on the raceme are the bracts.  To get a relative idea of the size, the timber in the background in 6 inches high.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 07
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 07)  This is a view of the helleborine growing from the ground.  Except for shorter stems, this is what to look for before the helleborine blooms.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 08
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 08)  This helleborine has a raceme full of buds, along with a few spider webs and the "cottony" seeds from a cottonwood tree.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 08a
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 08a)  This is a closer look at the top of a helleborine raceme that is "loaded" with buds.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 08b
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 08b)  This is a closer look at the base of the young helleborine raceme.  Note the way the leaves have not spread out but are still growing tightly abound the stem.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 09
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 09)  This is another helleborine growing on a rocky slope.
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 10
(Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) - 10)  This is another look at a few of the helleborine buds.

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