Epipactis helleborine Broad-leafed Helleborine Orchid
Contents of several seed pods (1000's). Wild seed collected from plants growing in our farms grounds. Seed has been responsibly harvested and taking a small amount will not be detrimental to populations growing here. A widespread terrestrial species of woodland environments with nodding greenish-pink to purple flowers and strongly ribbed leaves. Flowering late July to September. Height up to 80 cm. Light to full shade in damp soil. Seeds are slow to germinate and will take many years to reach maturity.
GROWING ORCHID SEED PLEASE READ BEFORE PURCHASING
For an orchid seed to develop under natural conditions, the presence of fungi is necessary. The seeds of most plants contain some nourishment which feeds the seedling until the leaves appear and are able to produce nourishment themselves. This initial source of nourishment is not to be found in orchid seeds, instead the germinating seed is invaded by a fungus which assists the orchid to obtain its food and afterwards remains in the cells of the underground part of the orchid where it continues to assist in obtaining food. This type of co-existence between fungus and plant is called mycorrhiza.
Orchid seeds are tiny and almost like dust. Seeds can be sown on sterilized nutrient media without the fungus partner. Many sites on the web will give you very good advise on how to do this - try for starters: www.hardyorchidsociety.org.uk. Although the majority of seeds are grown this way it is not impossible to grow these by sowing seeds around the base of another native orchid plant (as the fungus will be present there) or thinly sprinkling the seeds onto undisturbed ground or grassland and simply letting nature take its course. Seeds will not germinate if sown in pots with compost. Seeds are sent in glassine envelopes.