Derby City Council

The Flora of Derbyshire - Checklist, Maps and Sample Accounts

Epipactis atrorubens

Dark-red Helleborine

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Dates link to glossary page
First year: 1898
Latest year: 2005

County Status link to glossary page

Family link to glossary page

Total records held link to glossary page

Grid Square Count link to glossary page
Monads: 9 16
Tetrads: 8 12
Hectads: 5 5

Conservation Status link to glossary page
F, C, B, A, AA

Account last edited
Aug 21 2005

Explanation of terms

2 kilometre map image

Species Details

This orchid is a very rare, native perennial of the White Peak where it grows in rocky grasslands and vegetated screes on limestone, often amongst woody plants on the edges of scrub or woodland. It occurs most frequently around Coombs Dale (SK27H), Cressbrook Dale (SK17S) and Priestcliffe Lees (SK17L), but has also been recorded for Biggin Dale (SK15P) and the Via Gellia (SK25T). One of the best sites on Longstone Edge was destroyed in the 1960s under an existing planning permission for mineral working. Translocations were not successful. Coombs Dale also used to have one of the most extensive colonies. One area was fenced off to exclude sheep, but this did not help much the fence is presently derelict and there are now few orchids. It is categorised as Nationally Scarce. It occurs locally on limestone in upland Britain, with Derbyshire being its southern limit in northern England.

This plant is in Category 3 of the local Red Data List, 2009.

Between 16th July and 23rd July 2008 a solitary plant with 7 flowers was uprooted and stolen from Coombs Dale SSSI. Anyone believing they may have witnessed someone acting suspiciously at this or other orchid sites around this time should contact Derbyshire Police on 0845 123 3333, quoting crime reference 278/250708.

Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine) Derbyshire. Photo: P.Smith

Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine) Derbyshire. Photo: P.Smith