Narrow-leaved Helleborine, Flora in Co. Mayo

The Narrow-leaved Helleborine is an herbaceous perennial plant and it is a rare orchid. It has erect and glabrous multiple stems.

The numerous, erect and linear-oblong leaves are dark green.

The bell-shaped flowers are pure white collect in a lax, graceful spike with a yellow spotted labellum; they are opened only in sunshine during the warmest hours of the day.

It blooms from April to June and can be found in damp woods, forest edges and rocky slopes. In Mayo it is recorded in a number of sites but is becoming quite uncommon in Ireland.

Its botanical name is Cephalanthera longifolia and is called Cuaichìn caol in Irish.

This orchid is protected under the Flora Protection Order and listed in Red data book species.