Cephalanthera damasonium plate
Cephalanthera damasonium from
Die Orchideen Deutschlands und der angrenzenden Gebiete

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Neottieae
SubTribe: Limodorinae
Genus: Cephalanthera
L.C. Rich 1818
Type Species
Cephalanthera pallens

Cephalanthera abbreviated Ceph in horticultural trade, is a genus of, mostly, terrestrial orchids.


Several species are common in Europe, for example the Sword-leaved Helleborine C. longifolia. Most others are native to Asia, ranging from the Caucasus, e.g. C. caucasica, to Japan, e.g. the Bamboo-leaved Silver Orchid C. longibracteata. The Chinese species C. gracilis was only described in 2002. The only species found in North America is the Phantom Orchid or Snow Orchid C. austiniae. Ecologically, this species is partially myco-heterotrophic. Some of the Eurasian species hybridise.


Members of this genus have rhizomes rather than tubers. About 15 species are currently recognized.

Several of the European species have common names including the word "helleborine", but this name does not correspond to any modern taxon, and orchids in other genera are also called helleborines. In addition to those listed here, very large numbers of other specific names will be found in the older literature, but these are almost all synonyms for the best known species such as C. longifolia or C. damasonium, the European White Helleborine.


Plants require cool to intermediate conditions. They rely on mycorrhizal fungus to grow.


This genus is named after its single stamen which sits on top of the anther


  1. Dorycheile Rchb.f 1841
  2. Helleborine Hill Britt.
  3. Callithronum Ehrh., 1789.
  4. Lonchophyllum Ehrh., 1789.
  5. Dorycheile Rchb., 1841.
  6. Xiphophyllum Ehrh., 1879.
  7. Eburophyton A.Heller, 1904.
  8. Tangtsinia S.C.Chen, 1965.

Species Edit

Natural HybridsEdit


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