Syn.: Amesia microphylla (Ehrh.) A. Nelson et J. F. Macbr., Epipactis athensis Lej., Epipactis atrorubens Rostk. ex Spreng., Epipactis helleborine var. microphylla (Ehrh.) Rchb. f., Epipactis intermedia Schur, Helleborine microphylla (Ehrh.) Schinz et Thell., Limodorum microphyllum (Ehrh.) Kuntze, Serapias microphylla Ehrh., Epipactis latifolia subsp. microphylla (Ehrh.) Bonnier et Layens, Epipactis latifolia var. microphylla (Ehrh.) DC., Serapias latifolia var. microphylla (Ehrh.) Pers.
Family: Orchidaceae Juss.

Epipactis microphylla

Distribution: Euro-Caucasian species – Europe, Turkey, Crimea, Caucasian area and Northern Iran.

Ecology: It grows in broadleaved (sometimes in coniferous) forests in shady sites or along forest edges on a calcaerous soils, from lowlands to the mountains. Flowers from June to August.

Epipactis microphylla

Description: A perrenial densely pubescent herb, 15–30 cm tall, with short rhizome. The stem is pale green, grey or tinged with violet, and densely pubescent. Leaves (3–10) are small, erect to spreading, dark green to violet, lanceolate (1–)1.5–4(–5) cm long and 0.5–1.5 cm wide, shorter than internodes. Upper leaves are bract-like. The inflorescence is lax, almost one-sided, with (2–)10–20(–40) flowers. Lower bracts are 2 cm long. Flowers are opened or just partially opened, held dropping to nearly horizontal, green to violet and vanilla-scented. Intratepals and extratepals are lanceolate and pubescent on outer surface, green or washed with violet; epichile is heart-triangular shaped, 2.5–4 mm long and 3–4 mm wide, on margins toothed; hypochle is cup-shaped, interior shiny dark green, pale green or pink; column is short, 1.9–2.3 mm long; pollinia are not disintegrating; clinandrium is deep; ovary very hairy, 7–11 mm long; viscidium functional only on the beginning of flowering period. The capsules are 13–18 mm long. An autogamic species with residuals of allogamy (Claessens et Kleynen 1996).

Endangering and Protection: This species is protected by international agreement CITES. In Slovakia is classified as vulnerable (VU), and protected by law. In Czech Republic is classified as endangered (C2r), and also protected by law.

Note: This species is associated with ectomycorhizzal fungi including Tuber spp (Selosse et al. 2004).

Epipactis microphyllaEpipactis microphylla
Epipactis microphylla
Epipactis microphylla

These images were taken in the Little Carpathians in Slovakia (by Tomáš Figura: June 2011) and Strážovské vrchy, Rokoš (Mário Duchoň: June 2007, 2008).

Additional literature:
Claessens J., Kleynen J. (1996): Allogamie- und Autogamie-Tendenzen bei einigen Vertreten der Gattung Epipactis. Ber. Arbeitskr. Heim. Orchid. 12: 4–16.
Selosse, M.-A., et al. (2004): Chlorophyllous and achlorophyllous specimens of Epipactis microphylla (Neottieae, Orchidaceae) are associated with ectomycorrhizal septomycetes, including truffles. Microbial Ecology 47.4: 416–426.