Cephalanthera rubra

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Red Helleborine
Cephalanthera rubra catena-rangeval 55 170602 2.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Cephalanthera
Species: C. rubra
Binomial name
Cephalanthera rubra
(L.) Rich. 1817
  • Serapias rubra L.
  • Epipactis rubra (L.) F.W.Schmidt
  • Cymbidium rubrum (L.) Sw.
  • Helleborine rubra (L.) Schrank
  • Dorycheile rubra (L.) Fuss
  • Limodorum rubrum (L.) Kuntze
  • Epipactis purpurea Crantz
  • Cephalanthera comosa Tineo in G.Gussone

Cephalanthera rubra, known as Red Helleborine,[2] is an orchid found in Europe, North Africa and southwest Asia. Although reasonably common in parts of its range, this Cephalanthera has always been one of the rarest orchids in Britain.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Red Helleborine is found throughout most of Europe, east to the Urals and as far as 60 degrees north. It is however rare in Britain, the Low Countries and western France. It also occurs in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia and in various parts of southern Asia as far east as Iran.[3][1][4]

Red Helleborine is a very rare plant in Britain. It is found only at the following sites:

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the species was recorded from single sites in Somerset, Sussex and Kent, and a second Hampshire site (in the upper Test Valley). The species was also recorded at additional Gloucestershire sites (including Stanley Wood, King's Stanley, now a Woodland Trust woodland), and persisted at some of these into the 1970s. It became a protected species in the UK in 1975 under the Conservation of Wild Creatures and Wild Plants Act.[10]


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  3. ^ Harrap, Anne and Simon (2005). Orchids of Britain and Ireland: a Field and Site Guide. A&C Black. pp. 134–40. ISBN 0-7136-6956-X. 
  4. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, Cefalantera rossa, Red Helleborine, Cephalanthera rubra
  5. ^ a b c Species distribution map for Cephalanthera rubra, NBN Gateway, retrieved 25 February 2010
  6. ^ Kitchen, Clare, Mark A. R. Kitchen and Ian Carle (2008) Stephen Bishop's New Flora of Gloucestershire Part 2: the distribution maps The Gloucestershire Naturalist No. 14 Gloucestershire Naturalists ' Society, page 232
  7. ^ Fisher, John (1991) A colour guide to rare wild flowers ISBN 0-09-470780-4 Constable books, London
  8. ^ Rose, F. and A. Brewis (1988) Short notes: Cephalanthera rubra in Hampshire Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Watsonia 17: 176-77
  9. ^ Ratcliffe, D. A. (1977) A Nature Conservation Review Volume 2. Site Accounts p. 53 ISBN 0-521-21403-3
  10. ^ http://www.caithness.org/caithnessfieldclub/bulletins/1975/october/conservation.htm

External links[edit]