De Orchid. Eur., 29. 1817.

Common names: Helleborine
Etymology: Greek kephale, head, and anthera, anther
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 583. Mentioned on page 494.

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.


Widespread, w North America, Eurasia.


Species ca. 15 (1 in the flora).

Selected References