Weedy Orchid Taking Root

The “Golden Gate Gardener” on SFGate devotes the top half of a column to an orchid weed. No, it’s not the tropical Bamboo Orchid, but instead an emigrant from Europe, Epipactis helleborine. It’s related to the Stream Orchid, the native Epipactis that I grow.

Epipactis helleborine has a home range across a broad swath of Europe and Asia, stretching from Ireland all the way to China. Early colonists brought it to North America to use the roots as a gout treatment. With nicknames like “weed orchid” and “poor man’s lady slipper,” it’s considered an invasive plant in parts of the USA and Canada, but it’s not a significant problem here in the SF Bay Area. This terrestrial can spread by seeds or by root runners, and can pop up in surprising places, like roadside ditches or patches of poison oak. That’s a wildly successful orchid weed!

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6 Comments on “Weedy Orchid Taking Root”

  1. MLH Says:

    Good article! I like this blog

  2. Saica L Says:

    I was just talking to my partner about this very topic. You must be psychic or something! This orchid grows along side our home and we never knew what it was. I always thought it was pretty but now we know its an orchid we’ll take good care of it.

  3. nancy Says:

    before I started growing orchids I used to see these ‘weeds’ around and I didn’t know what they were. I even had one growing from the foundation of my house that I pulled out before I knew what it was. A few years ago I learned that it’s an orchid and now I want my weeds back đŸ˜‰

  4. Tara B Says:

    You have really interesting blog, keep up posting such informative posts!

  5. Elaine Whitfield Says:

    Nice post…

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