Cephalanthera rubra

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOrchidaceaeCephalantheraCephalanthera rubra


A long-lived rhizomatous perennial herb of well-drained sloping sites in deciduous woods, particularly those of Fagus, on calcareous soils. It is a poor competitor and does not form large colonies. Flowers are rarely produced and seed-set is very low, possibly due to the rarity of suitable pollinators. Lowland.



World Distribution

European Temperate element.

© G. Toone, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland

Light (Ellenberg): 4

Moisture (Ellenberg): 3

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16.2

Annual Precipitation (mm): 797

Height (cm): 55

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 10

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Plantatt Conservation Status

Critically endangered

JNCC Designations