Himantoglossum hircinum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOrchidaceaeHimantoglossumHimantoglossum hircinum


A tuberous, winter-green perennial herb growing on chalk and, rarely, limestone in open grassland, on roadsides and in quarries, and occasionally on calcareous sand dunes and heathland. Lowland.



World Distribution

Submediterranean-Subatlantic element.

© K.J. Walker, BSBI

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 3

Reaction (Ellenberg): 9

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16.3

Annual Precipitation (mm): 728

Life form information

Height (cm): 70

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 113

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 2

Atlas Change Index: -2.4

Distribution information

Plantatt Conservation Status


JNCC Designations


External Species Accounts

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 (339a)
Carey (1998
1999) Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols. Sanford M
1991.  The orchids of Suffolk. Wigginton MJ
1999.  British Red Data Books. 1. Vascular plants, edn 3.