Cephalanthera longifolia (L.) Fritsch, 1888
Common names: Narrow-leaved Helleborine, Sword-leaved Helleborine [En], Céphalanthère à feuilles en épée, Céphalanthère à feuilles étroites [Fr], Wit bosvogeltje [Nl], Langblättriges Waldvöglein [De], Cefalantera maggiore [It], Mακρόφυλλο Kεφαλάνθηρο [Gr]
Agiassos, LESVOS ● Greece
Description: Herbaceous perennial plant of average 20–60 centimetres height, with rhizome. This orchid has erect and glabrous multiple stems.
The leaves are dark green, long and narrowly tapering.
The inflorescence is a lax, five to twenty-flowered spike with the bell-shaped flowers ascending in an oblique spiral. The flowers are white, about 1 cm long, with a yellow-edged labellum and they usually open only during the warmest and brightest hours of the day.
The fruit is a dry capsule and the dust-like seed is dispersed by the wind.
Biology: This plant can be found in bloom from April to June, depending on location and altitude.
The flowers are pollinated by solitary bees. The flowers produce little nectar and the yellowish dust on the labellum which the insects collect is of little nutritional value. The actual pollen is contained in two pollinia which adhere to the hairs on the bee's back. The flower spikes are eaten by deer.
Habitat: Sword-leaved Helleborine usually grows in damp woodland places (mainly oak and beech), forest edges and rocky slopes. These plants prefer calcareous soils and in well exposed places, at an altitude of 0–1,400 metres above sea level.
Distribution: It is native to light woodland, widespread across Europe, Asia and North Africa from Ireland and Morocco to China. This includes Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Algeria, India, Pakistan, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and many other countries.
Cephalanthera longifolia is common in some parts of its European range, such as southern France and Spain, but endangered particularly in northern areas such as Belgium. In Britain and Ireland it is a quite uncommon and declining species.
Wikipedia, Cephalanthera longifolia