Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)

Helleborines in the Cansiglio

The Cansiglio upland hosts one of the richest community of orchids in the North-eastern Italy, with more than 40 species reported, from the thermofil foothills to the alpine meadows of higher altitudes.

I’ve been there at the beginning of August, at the end of orchid blooming season,

in order to look for the last helleborines and for the Ghost orchid (Epipogium aphyllum), unfortunately not found.

I’ve found the remains of Bird-nest and Fragrant orchids, but only Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) and the last Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens) where truly in flower. Rather spectacular indeed.

Not many animals around, probably because of warm temperatures: a beautiful Great Spotted Woodpecker, many tits (Willow, Marsh, Crested, Coal, Blue and Great), many Scotch Argus and an interesting moth, Four-spotted Footman (Cybosia mesomella).

Luca Boscain

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