Epipogium aphyllum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOrchidaceaeEpipogiumEpipogium aphyllum


A saprophytic herb usually growing in deep leaf-litter in Fagus woods on chalk, with little or no associated ground flora. It is also occasionally recorded from Quercus woodland. The underground rhizomes have considerable longevity but the stems are short-lived and may not be produced annually. Although its flowers are pollinated by bees, seed is rarely produced. Lowland.



World Distribution

Eurasian Boreal-montane element.

© Tom Cairns

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland

Light (Ellenberg): 2

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 721

Life form information

Height (cm): 22

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 8

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Distribution information

Plantatt Conservation Status

Critically endangered

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