John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Epipactis placentina
This species was first described from Lombardy, Italy by Bongiorni and Grunanger in 1993, being named after the town of Plaisance near which it was discovered.

E. placentina
has a wide but extremely fragmented distribution through central Europe but largely centred on northern Italy. It may also be found in Southern France, Sicily, Slovakia and as far south as an isolated small population in the Dalmatia region of Croatia. This is a rare orchid and for a variety of reasons, getting rarer in many parts of its range. In some regions it is disappearing completely and in others it simply does not flower. The primary reason for this dismal situation is the year on year drought conditions which are affecting southern Europe generally and the Italian Appenines in particular.

E. placentina is one of the more colourful and distinctive members of the Epipactis group but is perhaps most easily identified by the regular, alternate leaf spacing on the lower stem. This can be readily seen in the final two photos of a robust plant growing in virtually full sun. It will also be noted how pale green the leaves become when subject to good light conditions. This species, although a woodland plant, prefers a position in some light at the forest edge and as already mentioned, where tree felling has exposed it, it can tolerate almost full sun.

The inflorescence is lax, consisting of up to thirty flowers though more normally and in shady positions, ten would be more usual. The sepals and epichile are strongly coloured magenta and the hypochile is nectar producing and a stunning deep red in colour. The photographs are from a woodland colony in Dalmatia and  an open ground  population in Isere, southern France.