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

Life form information

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

Distribution information

Plantatt Conservation Status

Critically endangered

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references