Neottia nidus-avis

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOrchidaceaeNeottiaNeottia nidus-avis


This saprophytic herb is most frequent in the deep humus of densely shaded Fagus woods on chalky soils. Less commonly it occurs in mixed deciduous woodland and mature Corylus coppices, on soils derived from limestones and base-rich clays and sands. Lowland.



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Temperate element; also in E. Asia.

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland

Light (Ellenberg): 2

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.2

Annual Precipitation (mm): 938

Life form information

Height (cm): 47

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: 742

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 99

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.91

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 (335a)
Allan B, Woods P
1993.  Wild orchids of Scotland.
Curtis TGF, McGough HN
1988.  The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jenkinson MN
1991.  Wild orchids of Dorset.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Sanford M
1991.  The orchids of Suffolk.