AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Cephalanthera damasonium (Mill.) Druce, Ann. Scott. Nat. Hist. 1906: 225 (1906).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Serapias damasonium Mill., Gard. Dict. ed. 8: n.º 2 (1768).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Serapias latifolia Mill., Gard. Dict. ed. 8: n.º 4 (1768), nom. illeg.
Epipactis alba Crantz, Stirp. Austr. Fasc., ed. 2, 2: 460 (1769).
Serapias grandiflora Oeder in G.C.Oeder & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Dan.: t. 506 (1770), sensu auct.
Serapias lancifolia Murray, Syst. Veg. ed. 14: 815 (1784).
Serapias grandiflora subsp. lancifolia (Murray) Ehrh., Beitr. Naturk. 1: 109 (1787).
Serapias tota-alba Gilib., Exerc. Phyt. 2: 493 (1792), opus utique oppr.
Epipactis lancifolia (Murray) F.W.Schmidt, Samml. Phys.-Ökon. Aufs. 1: 252 (1795).
Cymbidium pallens Sw., J. Bot. (Schrader) 1799(2): 225 (1800).
Epipactis ochroleuca Baumg., Enum. Stirp. Transsilv. 3: 174 (1817).
Serapias ochroleuca (Baumg.) Steud., Nomencl. Bot.: 766 (1821).
Cephalanthera lancifolia (Murray) Dumort., Fl. Belg.: 134 (1827).
Serapias pallens (Sw.) S.B.Jundz., Opisan. Rósl.: 268 (1830).
Cephalanthera ochroleuca (Baumg.) Rchb., Fl. Germ. Excurs.: 140(20) (1831).
Cephalanthera pallens subsp. ochroleuca (Baumg.) Nyman, Consp. Fl. Eur.: 687 (1882).
Cephalanthera alba (Crantz) Simonk., Enum. Fl. Transsilv.: 504 (1887).
Cephalanthera pallens var. collina Zapal., Consp. Fl. Gallic. Crit. 1: 223 (1906).
Cephalanthera pallens var. gracilis Zapal., Consp. Fl. Gallic. Crit. 1: 223 (1906).
Cephalanthera pallens var. pienena Zapal., Consp. Fl. Gallic. Crit. 1: 223 (1906).
Cephalanthera latifolia Janch., Mitt. Naturwiss. Vereins Univ. Wien 5: 111 (1907).
Cephalanthera alba var. adenophora R.Keller in H.Schinz & R.Keller, Fl. Schweiz, ed. 3: 75 (1914).
Epipactis alba f. spicata W.Zimm., Allg. Bot. Z. Syst. 23: 11 (1917).
Cephalanthera latifolia f. adenophora (R.Keller) Soó, Arch. Bot. (Leipzig) 23: 113 (1928).
Cephalanthera latifolia f. collina (Zapal.) Soó, Arch. Bot. (Leipzig) 23: 112 (1928).
Cephalanthera latifolia f. gracilis (Zapal.) Soó, Arch. Bot. (Leipzig) 23: 113 (1928).
Cephalanthera latifolia f. pienena (Zapal.) Soó, Arch. Bot. (Leipzig) 23: 113 (1928).
Cephalanthera latifolia f. spicata (W.Zimm.) Soó, Arch. Bot. (Leipzig) 23: 112 (1928).
Cephalanthera yunnanensis Hand.-Mazz., Symb. Sin. 7: 1339 (1936).
Cephalanthera damasonium f. collina (Zapal.) Soó, Ann. Univ. Sci. Budapest. Rolando Eötvös, Sect. Biol. 11: 54 (1969).
Cephalanthera damasonium f. gracilis (Zapal.) Soó, Ann. Univ. Sci. Budapest. Rolando Eötvös, Sect. Biol. 11: 54 (1969).
Cephalanthera damasonium f. spicata (W.Zimm.) Soó, Ann. Univ. Sci. Budapest. Rolando Eötvös, Sect. Biol. 11: 54 (1969).
Cephalanthera damasonium lusus ochroleuca (Baumg.) Soó, Acta Bot. Acad. Sci. Hung. 16: 367 (1970 publ. 1971).
Description:
Plants leafy, autotrophic, 14–36 cm tall. Stem slender, smooth or sometimes scabrous toward apex, with 2–5 basal sheaths, 4- or 5(–7)-leaved. Leaves elliptic to oblong, becoming smaller and linear-lanceolate above, 3–6 × (0.5–)1.2–2 cm, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescence laxly (1 or)2- or 3(–5)flowered; rachis 1–2.5 cm; floral bracts foliaceous, lanceolate to elliptic, 30–50 × 5–12 mm, all exceeding ovary. Flowers suberect, rarely opening fully, white, 1.5–2.5 cm; pedicel and ovary 10–12 mm. Sepals narrowly obovate-elliptic, 1.6–1.8 cm × 5.5– 6.5 mm, 7-veined, apex obtuse to acute. Petals subobovate, 13– 14 × ca. 6 mm, apex acute to acuminate; lip 8–9 mm, 2-partite; hypochile gibbous-saccate, enclosed within bases of lateral sepals, with an orange-yellow patch near base of disk; hypochile lobes erect and loosely embracing column, ovate-triangular, 2– 2.5 mm; epichile transversely elliptic, ca. 4 × 8 mm, densely papillose toward apex, with 3 longitudinal, orange lamellae in basal half, obtuse-truncate. Column 9–11 mm, with 2 narrow, oblong wings; anther ovoid, ca. 2.5 mm.
Habitat:
These orchids occur in woodlands (they are more common in Beech woods) where the underlying ground is chalk or limestone, although they are also found in more open positions from time to time.

Flower time:
Cephalanthera damasonium blooms from early May until the end of June.
Distribution:
Europe to N. Iran, Bhutan to China (Yunnan)
Reference:
Anne and Simon Harrap (2005) Orchids of Britain and Ireland; A&C Black Pierre Delforge (2005) Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East; A&C Black
Images:
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Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
cephalanthera damasonium  cephalanthera damasonium. closer  cephalanthera damasonium. close up
 
cephalanthera damasonium. close up 01 
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission.