|John and Gerry's Orchids of Britain and Europe|
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E. tremolsii was first described by C. Pau from Barcelona, Spain in 1914 and was named in honour of the
eminent 19th century Spanish botanist, F. Tremols y Borrell. It is a member of the E. tremolii group which
are all characterised by strongly hairy stems and short, broad leaves which tend to be densest towards bottom third of the flowering stem .
This group appears to be closely related to E. atrrorubens and it is thought that this species is probably
one of its ancestors. The colouration of E. tremolsii is often of a darker, redder hue similar to that of E.
atrorubens, as is the case with the plants illustrated here.
This is an orchid with a wide, largely western Mediterranean distribution that may be found as far north
as the Vercors of France and reaching the Maghreb of northern Africa to the south. It also maintains a
limited outpost on the island of Sardinia. E. tremolsii is an orchid that tolerates a range of conditions but
as with many other Epipactis species, is typically found in a more shady position in woodland clearings and
edges where it can grow to a substantial 75 cms. The flowering stem can easily be confused with similar
species but is usually recognizable by the characteristic way in which the leaves are concentrated towards
the base of the stem, often forming a dense overlapping pyramid.
In the south of its range it frqently grows alongside E. lusitanica which has similar flowers but is normally
a much shorter, spindlier orchid. On more acidic soils however it can appear ecotypical and present a very
The photos are from the Algarve and date from the middle of April.