Dune helleborine Epipactis dunensis

Best Time to See
Habitat Coastal

Very similar to the narrow-lipped helleborine, the two were actually thought to be the same species until studies of their DNA revealed this wasn't the case.

This rare orchid has broad yellow-green leaves which grow upwards in pairs along the stem. It's petals are simlarly coloured with a pinky-white lip and green tip.


Located on the coast on dunes in Anglesey and Lancashire. Sites further inland can be found in Northumberland and Scotland.


Moist habitats, usually in coastal sand dunes and scrub on metal-polluted soil.

Best time to see

Flowers July to August.

County flower of Lanarkshire.

Rarities bloom in unexpected places, but there are few less likely plant ‘hotspots' than the Lanarkshire's coal 'bings'.

Both the dune helleborine and the similar Young's helleborine are able to thrive on these dramatic landmarks of the county's proud past, due to their high tolerance of heavy metals.