There are about nine species of Helleborine that grow wild in Britian, tey are not the easiest species to find and are not the easiest species to photograph.  Many of them are very small and thin and can be very tricky to find in the woodland floor where they often grow in dark, damp and overgrown conditions.

I have only seen some of these species including some of our more uncom Helleborines.

Helleborines are part of the orchid family.


The Dark Red Helleborine is certainly scarce and can only be found at a handfull of sites.  These include a well known site in County Durham which also has some uncommon butterflies.  I chosen a weekend to visit on the hpe of seeing both the Northern Brown Argus and the Red Helleborine, but the Helleborines were particuarly late flowering and allthough there were very good numbers, they were still in bud as shown in the image above.

But it's a great site, and I will hopefully pay another visit and have better sucsess.

Another uncommon orchid is the Violet Helleborine which comes into flower later in the season each August.  luckily for me, within a few miles, there is a good site for this hard to find species in Leicestershire where these images below were taken.
Above is an image of a Broad leaved Helleborine which is one of the more common of the Helleborine species.