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Epipactis atrorubens.
Epipactis pourpre.
Dark red helleborine.

Superb summer orchid with a generally very dark purple color.  The floral elements of Epipactis are complex and sometimes very colorful. But the flowering of the majority of species is often late (from June to August) and for many species takes place in the undergrowth. They are therefore hardly noticed at this relatively late period. 

We discover (understand we name) new species regularly in Europe. The genus Epipactis is very widespread in the northern hemisphere elsewhere. Species hybridize easily within the genus, which will sometimes complicate identification. 

For Epipactis atrorubens, don't worry, the stem is generally tall and bears a cluster of many flowers ranging from a slightly washed-out red  to intense purple. The labellum is pleated as seen in the photos.

You will see it on the edge of the woods, along the shoulders, on rather dry and chalky terrain. Widespread in France (apart from a few western and central departments).

Click on the photos to enlarge

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