The red list has become a ubiquitous tool in the conservation of species. We analyzed contemporary trends in the threat levels of European orchids, in total 166 species characterized in 27 national red lists, in relation to their reproductive biology and growth form, distribution area, and land cover where they occur. We found that species in central Europe are more threatened than those in the northern, southern, or Atlantic parts of Europe, while species were least threatened in southern Europe. Nectarless and tuberous species are significantly more threatened than nectariferous and rhizomatous taxa. Land cover (ratios of artificial land cover, area of pastures and grasslands, forests and inland wetlands) also significantly impacted the threat level. A bigger share of artificial land cover increases threat, and a bigger share of pasture and grassland lowers it. Unexpectedly, a bigger share of inland wetland area in a country increased threat level, which we believe may be due to the threatened nature of wetlands themselves relative to other natural land cover types. Finally, species occurring in multiple countries are on average less threatened. We believe that large-scale analysis of current IUCN national red lists as based on their specific categories and criteria may particularly inform the development of coordinated regional or larger-scale management strategies. In this case, we advocate for a coordinated EU protection and restoration strategy particularly aimed at central European orchids and those occurring in wetland area.