Cephalanthera damasonium

White helleborine; Céphalanthère blanche; Weisses Waldvögelein; Elleborine giallognola

Widespread across much of Europe, from England eastwards, and North Africa.

An orchid with cream or yellowish flowers and with broadly oval or elliptical leaves (becoming more lance-shaped higher up the stems); growing up to about 60 cm. Rather similar to Cephalanthera longifolia with which hybrids have been reported, but with broader leaves, floral bracts that are longer than the ovary (shorter in C. longifolia) and with the outer perianth segments obtuse (acute in C. longifolia). The flowers do not open as widely as those of C. longifolia.

C. longifolia has white flowers.

In shady woodlands or scrub, on calcareous soils, at altitudes up to 1800 metres.

Photographs: Luberon Mountains, South of France, May 2005.
© Wil de Vries

Click photographs for larger images.

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