It was thought to belong to the dune helleborine group but the new findings mean it can now be classified as a species in its own right.
It had always been thought it was dune helleborine, which in itself is quite a rare plant, but it turns out we now have one of the rarest plants in the whole world.
For this reason, Merseyside Bio Bank, an environmental records office, is co-ordinating a survey of the dune helleborine and another type of orchid, the green-flowered helleborine, which is also of conservation importance.
DUNE Helleborine (epipactis dunensis) Leaves: Longer, narrower; paler or yellowish green; two ranks up the stem; held at 45 degrees above horizontal.
A rare Dune orchid has its position recorded for the survey by Helen Graves, Community Liaison officer for Merseyside Bio Bank, right, and Pauline Michell, field survey organiser; and, inset, the global positioning device which helps map the point exactly Pictures: EDDIE BARFORD/ eb140808forchid-6, above, and eb140808forchid-2, inset; Green-flowered helleborine Picture: PHIL SMITH; Dune helleborine, growing at Formby Point Picture: PHIL SMITH
But the specimens Pauline is describing on this occasion are dune helleborines, an exceptionally rare type of orchid with a name that's wonderful to roll around the tongue.