Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Cephalanthera austiniae

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OrchidaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, terrestrial [growing on other pls], non-green (nutrition from association of roots with fungi) or green, generally from rhizomes or tubers with few to many fleshy to slender roots; cauline leaves +- reduced to sheathing stem bracts or not. Leaf: 1--many, basal to cauline, linear to +- round, alternate to opposite (if only 1 pair), generally sessile. Inflorescence: flowers 1--many, spike or raceme, bracted. Flower: bisexual, bilateral, in bud generally rotating 180° by twisting ovary (position of parts indicated after twisting); sepals generally 3, generally free, generally petal-like, uppermost generally erect, lateral with chin- or spur-like projection (mentum) or not; petals 3, 1 (lip) different, spurred or not; stamens generally 1 (3 in Cypripedium, 2 functional, 1 a staminode), fused with style, stigma into column, pollen generally lumped, generally removed as unit by insect; ovary inferior, 1-chambered, placentas 3, parietal, stigma 3 lobed, generally under column tip. Fruit: capsule. Seed: many, minute.
Genera In Family: +- 800 genera, +- 25000 species: especially tropics (worldwide except Antarctica). Many cultivated for ornamental, especially Cattleya, Cymbidium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum; Vanilla planifolia Andrews fruits used to flavor food. Note: Platanthera may be paraphyletic without inclusion of Piperia (Bateman et al. 2009 Ann Bot 104:431--445); study needed.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald A. Coleman, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CephalantheraView Description 

Habit: Plant +- scapose. Leaf: at flower 0. Inflorescence: raceme; bracts sheathing, +- scale- to leaf-like, narrow-elliptic. Flower: sepals free, lower generally +- curved over column; lip not spurred, generally < lateral petals, generally narrowed at middle, concave or folded below middle, tip +- spreading to reflexed; column subcylindric, anther head-like, short-stalked. Fruit: generally erect.
Species In Genus: +- 15 species: especially Eurasia. Etymology: (Greek: head-like anther) Note: Some species +- subterranean; closely related to Epipactis.
Cephalanthera austiniae (A. Gray) A. Heller
Habit: Plant 20--55 cm, white, becoming +- yellow or brown. Flower: white; sepals 12--20 mm, elliptic to oblanceolate, acute; lip folded lengthwise, below middle lobed, above reflexed, with a yellow, papillate spot; column 6--9 mm, anther stalk +- hinge-like.
Ecology: Decomposed litter of rich soil in mixed-evergreen or conifer forest; Elevation: < 2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, SNH, SnFrB, n SCoRO, SnBr, PR; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Idaho. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul
Synonyms: Eburophyton austiniae (A. Gray) A. Heller
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Cephalanthera austiniae

botanical illustration including Cephalanthera austiniae


Citation for this treatment: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings 2012, Cephalanthera austiniae, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 14, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 14, 2021.

Cephalanthera austiniae
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© 2006 George W. Hartwell
Cephalanthera austiniae
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© 2007 Chris Winchell
Cephalanthera austiniae
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Cephalanthera austiniae
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© 2013 Barry Rice
Cephalanthera austiniae
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© 2019 Barry Rice
Cephalanthera austiniae
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© 2015 Steve Matson

More photos of Cephalanthera austiniae in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Cephalanthera austiniae:
NW, CaR, SNH, SnFrB, n SCoRO, SnBr, PR
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).