This section is from the book "Sub-Alpine Plants Or Flowers Of The Swiss Woods And Meadows", by H. Stuart Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Sub-Alpine Plants: Or, Flowers of the Swiss Woods and Meadows.
Resembling the last in habit and size, but the flowers are pure white, more distant than in the next species, and the sepals narrower and more pointed. The leaves are longer, narrower, and stiffer than in either species, being almost linear-lanceolate.
Wooded hillsides up to 4500 feet in Switzerland. May, June.
Europe, Western Asia, N. Africa. Scarce in Britain.
Stem 1-2 feet high. Leaves prominently veined; the lower ones broadly ovate, the upper broadly lanceolate. Flowers cream-coloured, in a loose leafy spike, all the bracts being longer than the ovary, and the lower ones quite leaf-like and considerably longer than the flowers. Sepals oblong and usually obtuse. Lip small, in two distinct parts.
Woods and thickets, scattered, extending to the sub-alpine zone. June.
Europe, extending eastwards to the Caucasus and Asia Minor, and northward to Denmark and the British Isles; Algeria.
All three kinds of Cephalanthera and many other interesting orchids grow in the woods or pastures about Engelberg in central Switzerland, on the mountain limestone at a height of about 4000 feet. A lady staying there in June, 1909, found about 26 different Orchids in that charming locality.
Rather tall plants with leafy stems and purple, brown, or greenish white flowers sometimes tinged with red, in a loose raceme. Perianth spreading; 'sepals' and ' petals ' almost equal in size; the lip thick and concave at the base, the terminal portion broad, with 2 protuberances at its base.
About 10 species only, native in Europe, temperate Asia, N. Africa, and N. America.
Rootstock shortly creeping, with thickish fibres. Stem 2 to 3 feet high, leafy. Leaves strongly ribbed; lower ones ovate, clasping the stem; upper ones lanceolate and pointed, passing into linear bracts, of which the lower are often longer than the flowers. Flowers pendulous in a long unilateral raceme, greenish purple in England, but usually yellowish green in Switzerland. Sepals ovate-lanceolate. Lip small, the lower portion quite short.
Shady woods and mountain thickets up to 5000 feet. June to August.
Europe, temperate Asia, Siberia, Himalaya, Algeria; British Isles.
Closely resembles the last and differing chiefly in the whole plant being of a purplish green colour, and the inflorescence denser, the flowers being partly greenish yellow and partly purple. It is rarely seen in the Swiss forests in autumn.
Germany, Switzerland, France. Epipactis atropurpurea Rafin.
Plant 1-2 feet high, slender, pubescent, more or less purplish in colour. Leaves oval or oboval, somewhat clasping. Spike lax, unilateral. Flowers rather small, dark purple-red, but somewhat variable, especially in the Maritime Alps, where we have seen specimens with pale purple flowers. Bracts shorter than the flowers, or the lowest equalling them.
Wooded hills in sunny places, and especially on limestone. June, July.
Europe, especially Central and Southern; Caucasus, Persia.