John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Epipactis dunensis
This species was first described from Lancashire, England in 1918 and as it name suggests, is largely though not exclusively an orchid of sand dune systems, primarily in the north west of England and Wales. E. dunensis cannot be described as one of our more attractive European orchids and the fact that the flowers never fully open serves only to add to its general lacklustre character. 

The sepals and petals never completely reflex and remain in a forward pointing position, thereby partially shielding the heart shaped epichile. This has no particularly detrimental affect on the species as it is a self pollinator (autogamus) with no need to attract any insect partners.

The common name for this orchid is unsurprisingly the Dune Helleborine but unlike most of its fellow dune dwellers, does not favour the damper slacks, tending to grow on higher,  stabilized  ground amongst willow scrub or pine plantations. Plants growing in open situations can be relatively weedy and yellowish whereas those from shadier areas are sturdier and more colourful. The form growing amongst the pines has been formally differentiated as f. pinetorum. This species was first thought to be restricted to the north western coastlines of England and Wales but there have now been several recent discoveries of the orchid in other parts of the UK, some of these locations being far from the coast. These discoveries all relate to f. pinetorum. There are two recognized subspecies of E. dunensis namely subsp sancta from Holy Island, Lindisfarne and subsp tynensis from the North East of England.
The photographs here are all f. pinetorum and come from Newborough Forest in North Wales and Ainsdale Dunes in Lancashire, dating from the first week of July.