John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Epipactis muelleri

E. muelleri was first described from Alpes-Maritimes, France by Godfery in 1918 and is named after the
eminent German botanist Herr F. Muller. It is commonly called Mueller's Helleborine.

This is a central European species which ranges from Belgium through to the former Czechoslovakia in the east. It was once thought to be present in Britain and specifically in the north east of England but recent studies (although unpublished at the time of writing) seem to point to the fact that neither the Lindisfarne or Tyneside populations are at all closely related to E. muelleri and are in fact simply variants of E. dunensis.

E. muelleri  bears a strong resemblance to the British endemic E. dunensis and indeed the differences are very small, mainly involving a slight divergence in epichile dimensions. As with E. dunensis the flowers of this species rarely open fully and tend therefore to form a forward pointing cup shape. They are also similar to E. dunensis in that neither epichile or perianth carry any red colouration, being uniformly greenish white. The hypochile however tends to be rather more reddish than the brown of E. helleborine with which it often associates. Unfortunately this feature is not well conveyed in the accompanying photographs due to the fact that a rain storm had saturated the flowers to a  point that together with extremely dull overhead conditions the camera was unable to pick up any redness.

E. muelleri is a relatively early species and can be in flower by mid June. The pictures here date from the second week of July and come from the Vercors region of southern France.