Coeloglossum viride

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOrchidaceaeCoeloglossumCoeloglossum viride


A tuberous perennial herb restricted in S. Britain to dry, well-grazed, base-rich grassland such as chalk downland and dunes, and in chalk-pits. Elsewhere it grows in a wider range of calcareous grasslands, flushes, limestone pavement, scree, rocky ledges, roadsides and quarries. 0-915 m (Glen Doll, Angus).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreal-montane element.

© K. Marston, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Calcareous grassland (includes lowland and montane types)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.2

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1148

Life form information

Height (cm): 22

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 964

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 214

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -1.34

Weighted Changed Factor: -28

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (336c)
Allan B, Woods P
1993.  Wild orchids of Scotland.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Willems JH, Melser C
1998.  Population dynamics and life-history of Coeloglossum viride (L.) Hartm.: an endangered orchid species in The Netherlands. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 126:83-93.