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The lip shows upward in the flower.Epipogium aphyllum, metsänemä

This species is perhaps the most exiting of all Finnish orchids. It flowers seldom, usually only every ten or 20 years, in most places it has only been seen onse. In Kuusamo, Keminmaa, Parainen and in Linnansaari national park in Savonlinna it flowers more regularly. The plant grows in old, mossy woods, but it is possible to meet it in other areas, too.Occuring in Finland. This species is rarely seen, and if someone has seen it, he/she has propably done that only once. I belong to the majority, I have not sen this plant yet. I have seeked it from one of my fawourite orchid-sites, a protected spring-area in Nurmijärvi (where I live in). It was seen in there in 60´s, but has never shown up after that. It is possible that Epipogium has died from area near to our capital. 

The species is protected by law in whole Finland but not in Ahvenanmaa. 

It flowers in July and August. 

It is possible that Epipogium would try to grow buds in many years, but if the conditions are bad in any way, it can´t get into flower. The species has branched rhizome. Some cases are known of plants which have flovered under groud. It is propably very rare and only happens when a bract or stone comes to the way of a growing plant. 

The species is small, only about 10 cm (4") heigh, but it has large flowers. It is one of the largest-flowered of Finnish orchids. 

Does anyone have a photo of this species? 
 

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 These pages has been made and updated by Matti Niissalo, sophronitis@yahoo.com