This genus, also known as Helleborine and shortened to Epcts in horticulture, contains around 70 terrestrial, rhizomatous, herbaceous orchid species. They are often found in marshland, alpine meadowland, duneland or woodlands and restricted to temperate locations in the Northern hemisphere. With some tropical species distributed in Africa, Thailand and Mexico. Foliage is ribbed and arranged in spirals or symmetrical ranks either side of a stem, some species have reduced chlorophyll and their leaves are coloured purple-blue. Flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, colourful and produced in dense flowering spikes, colours include green-white, orange, purple and red.