Wildflower Identification Helleborine

(Question)

Hello,

While at the cottage on the weekend, I found a beautiful little flower. Actually, I found two. If I had to guess, I would say that it is some type of wild orchid, but I’m not certain. Do you know what this plant is? I’ve attached a photo. It is small in stature, roughly the same height or slightly taller than lily of the valley and similar to lily of the valley in the layout of its flowers since there are several small blooms along a central stem. However, these flowers are shades of purple, maroon and green in the same way that I see in hellebores. The cottage is located in eastern Ontario, near Bon Echo and the photo was taken on July 30th.

 

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners about the pretty flowers you saw close to your cottage. You are right in thinking that they resemble those of the Hellebore as this is a Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine). This member of the orchid family grows in forests and woods and is non-native. It was actually a Eurasian species that was introduced to North America and is now considered to be invasive. Please see below for some websites that might be of interest.

http://northernontarioflora.ca/description.cfm?speciesid=1003880

http://ontariowildflowers.com/main/colour.php