Coeloglossum viride

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOrchidaceaeCoeloglossumCoeloglossum viride


A tuberous perennial herb restricted in S. Britain to dry, well-grazed, base-rich grassland such as chalk downland and dunes, and in chalk-pits. Elsewhere it grows in a wider range of calcareous grasslands, flushes, limestone pavement, scree, rocky ledges, roadsides and quarries. 0-915 m (Glen Doll, Angus).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreal-montane element.

© K. Marston, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Calcareous grassland (includes lowland and montane types)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.2

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1148

Height (cm): 22

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 964

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 214

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -1.34

Weighted Changed Factor: -28

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (336c)
Allan B, Woods P
1993.  Wild orchids of Scotland.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Willems JH, Melser C
1998.  Population dynamics and life-history of Coeloglossum viride (L.) Hartm.: an endangered orchid species in The Netherlands. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 126:83-93.