Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)
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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.   And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)
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(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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 05a)  In this close up side view of a helleborine leaf, we have an excellent look at the deep (strong) veining.






(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 - 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 - 08)  This helleborine has a raceme full of buds, along with a few spider webs and the "cottony" seeds from a cottonwood tree.






(Helleborine - 08a)  This is a closer look at the top of a helleborine raceme that is "loaded" with buds.





(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 - 09)  This is another helleborine growing on a rocky slope.





(Helleborine - 10)  This is another look at a few of the helleborine buds.





| Wild Flowers of SHL: Photo Identification, Common Name, Scientific Name | Art and Photos |

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