(last page)Epipactis, neidonvaipat

Epipactises have spread mainly to Asia and Europe, but one species, E. gigantea, also grows in north America. Also E. helleborine has spread to new continent with Man. It has become guite a common species in there. There are lot of Dactylorhizas in Europe, three apecies in Finland. 

Epipactises have easily regognisable stems (from about 15 cm to more than meter heigh), which have some leaves along the stem. The leaves have different shapes and they are plicate. Some plants lack chlorophyll and they are parasites of trees and/or fungi (this is possible, althought sometimes it is said that there are no parasitic orchids - but ephipytic orchids from tropics are not parasites). 

Epipactises have two characteristic parts on the flowers: the base of the lip, hypochile, has intoxicating water in it and the top of the lip, epichile, is a plase where drunken insects can step to. The flowers have similar effect on wasps as rotting apples in the garden - after drinking the water, wasps become slow-moving and they are clearly drunk. 

Epipactises are southern plants in Finland excluding E. atrorubens. Few specimens of E. palustris can still be found as far north as southern Lapland. E. atrorubensy mainly grows in northern and eastern parts of our country, but it is starting to spread more south. 

It would be possible to find any Dactylrohiza-species withour any chlophyll on leaves. E. helleborine´s white form can be found from Lappeenranta and white-leaved E. atrorubens grows in Estonia. 

1: palustris - suoneidonvaippa 
2: helleborine - lehtoneidonnvaippa 
3: atrorubens - tummaneidonvaippa 

It is also possible to find the hybrid of atrotubens and helleborine, please look at the page of atrorubens for details. 

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