31. Cephalanthera Richard, De Orchid. Eur. 29. 1817.
Helleborine [Greek kephale, head, and anthera, anther]
Charles J. Sheviak & Paul M. Catling
Herbs, perennial, achlorophyllous. Roots fleshy, slender, scattered along slender rhizome. Stems leafy. Leaves several, alternate; blade spreading, plicate, or reduced to appressed sheathing bracts. Inflorescences terminal, solitary spikes, lax; floral bracts often foliaceous, large to minute, scarious distally. Flowers few–many, resupinate, sessile, showy; lip white with yellow markings, divided by median constriction, saccate, distal end with fleshy parallel adaxial lamellae; pollinaria absent; pollinia 2; viscidia absent. Fruits capsules.
Species ca. 15 (1 in the flora): widespread, w North America, Eurasia.