This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this species is dark woods, especially beech woods, but it grows also on hazel, like Toothwort. It is a saprophyte, with the habit of a parasitical plant. The root is formed of a mass of thick fibres (hence Bird's Nest). There is a succulent rhizome. The stem is leafless, thick, sheathing, brown, hairless, scales taking the place of leaves. The numerous flowers form a dense cylindrical spike, and are pale brown. The lip is linear-oblong, bent down, the 2 lobes spreading. The sepals and petals are hooded. The lip has a hollowed-out base. The anther is hinged to the column, which is slender and free, 2-celled. The 2 pollinia are powdery, the glands united below. The stigma stands out. The rostellum is tongue-shaped. The plant is 6-18 inches high, flowering in June and July, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this species is mountain woods and moors, turfy moors, and it is frequent in Scotland. The habit is erect. The stem is short, slender, hairless, angled, delicate, brownish-green. The leaves are membranous, heart-shaped to egg-shaped, acute, stalkless, opposite, paired. The flowers are few, small, in a loose raceme, the sepals and petals olive-brown, blunt, the tip dirty yellow-green, with 4 lobes, 2 basal, 2 terminal, linear. The column has no crest. The plant is 3-6 in. high, flowering from June to August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
Creeping Goodyera (Peramium (Goodyera) repens, Br.). - The habitat of this plant is pine and fir woods. The plant has a prostrate then ascending orchid habit. The root is creeping (hence repens), slender, matted. The whole plant is covered with glands. The stem is slender, and with the spike glandular, downy. The leaves are stalked, egg-shaped, netted, downy below, acute, dark green. The spike is slender with linear, awllike, lance-shaped, closely pressed bracts, longer than the ovary. The flowers are spiral, small, creamy-white. The sepals, petals, and the lip are egg-shaped, lance-shaped. The plant is 4-10 in. in height. It flowers from June to August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is shady woods, amongst decaying leaves. The plant is a leafless saprophyte, brownish. The rhizome consists of short, thick, fleshy, branched fibres. The stem is pale yellowish-brown, sheathed, swollen above the base, with 1-2 closely-pressed bracts. The flowers are 2-6, pale yellow, shortly stalked, in a raceme. The sepals and petals are lance-shaped, acute, pale yellow, nearly equal, with inrolled margins, the middle lobe of the lip egg-shaped, furrowed, white, with 4 rows of purple tubercles. The lip is bent back, the lateral lobes are small. The spur is blunt, very thick, and short. The ovary is broad and short. The column is short, swollen above the stigma to take the base of the anther. The anther is terminal and falls. The 2 pollinia are stalked, the glands united at the base. The stigma is prominent, horseshoe-shaped. There is no rostellum. The plant is 4-8 in. The plant flowers in August and September, and is a herbaceous perennial.