Violet Helleborine - Epipactis purpurata


A short to medium plant with hairy upper stems, the lower part of the stem is often purplish. It is quite a leafy plant and the leaves are spirally arranged, greyish or purplish in colour and elliptical to lanceolate in shape. Flowers form a half nodding raceme and are whitish, the sepals greenish or purplish on the outside, the petals sometimes tinged with pink.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Photograph of whole plant and details of flowers


Deciduous woodland.

When to see it

In flower during August and September.

Life History


UK Status

Occasional. Found in Britain north to Cumbria, but most frequent in the south.

VC55 Status

Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 4 of the 617 tetrads.

It is on the current VC55 Rare Plant Register (Jeeves 2011)

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map