Cephalanthera longifolia (L.) Fritsch, Oesterr. Bot. Z. 38: 81 1888
Serapias helleborine var. longifolia L., Sp. Pl.: 950 (1753).
Serapias longifolia (L.) L., Sp. Pl. ed. 2: 1345 (1763).
Serapias grandiflora L., Syst. Nat. ed. 12, 2: 594 (1767), nom. illeg.
Serapias lonchophyllum L.f., Suppl. Pl.: 405 (1782), nom. illeg.
Serapias xiphophyllum Ehrh. ex L.f., Suppl. Pl.: 404 (1782).
Epipactis longifolia (L.) All., Fl. Pedem. 2: 152 (1785).
Serapias nivea Vill., Hist. Pl. Dauphiné 2: 52 (1787), nom. illeg.
Epipactis grandiflora (L.) Sm., Engl. Bot.: 271 (1795).
Serapias alba (Crantz) Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton: 8 (1796), nom. superfl.
Cymbidium xiphophyllum (Ehrh. ex L.f.) Sw., J. Bot. (Schrader) 2: 226 (1799).
Epipactis pallens Sw., Neues J. Bot. 1: 65 (1805), nom. illeg.
Epipactis xiphophylla (Ehrh. ex L.f.) Sw., Neues J. Bot. 1: 65 (1805).
Serapias pallida Wahlenb., Fl. Carpat. Princ.: 291 (1814).
Cephalanthera pallens Rich., De Orchid. Eur.: 38 (1817).
Cephalanthera grandiflora Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. 2: 210 (1821), nom. illeg.
Cephalanthera lonchophylla Rchb.f. in H.G.L.Reichenbach, Icon. Fl. Germ. Helv. 13-14: t. 119 (1851), nom. illeg.
Cephalanthera xiphophyllum Rchb.f. in H.G.L.Reichenbach, Icon. Fl. Germ. Helv. 13-14: 135 (1851), nom. illeg.
Limodorum grandiflorum (L.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 671 (1891), nom. illeg.
Limodorum longifolium (L.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 671 (1891), nom. illeg.
Cephalanthera longifolia f. angustifolia Maire & Weiller, in Fl. Afr. Nord 6: 359 (1959 publ. 1960), nom. illeg.
Serapias grandiflora var. ensifolia L.f., Suppl. Pl.: 404 (1782).
Serapias ensifolia (L.f.) Murray, Syst. Veg. ed. 14: 815 (1784).
Epipactis grandifolia All., Fl. Pedem. 2: 152 (1785).
Epipactis ensifolia F.W.Schmidt, Samml. Phys.-Ökon. Aufs. 1: 251 (1795).
Epipactis pallida Sw., Kongl. Vetensk. Acad. Nya Handl. 21: 232 (1800).
Cephalanthera ensifolia Rich., De Orchid. Eur.: 38 (1817), nom. illeg.
Cephalanthera acuminata Wall. ex Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 412 (1840).
Cephalanthera maravignae Tineo in G.Gussone, Fl. Sicul. Syn. 2: 877 (1844).
Cephalanthera thomsonii Rchb.f., Linnaea 41: 54 (1876).
Cephalanthera ensifolia var. maravignae (Tineo) Nyman, Consp. Fl. Eur.: 687 (1882).
Cephalanthera longifolia var. gibbosa Boiss., Fl. Orient. 5: 85 (1882).
Cephalanthera angustifolia Simonk., Enum. Fl. Transsilv.: 505 (1887).
Limodorum acuminatum (Wall. ex Lindl.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 671 (1891).
Epipactis longifolia var. longibracteata Harz in D.F.L.von Schlechtendal, Fl. Deutschl. ed. 5, 4: 330 (1896).
Epipactis longifolia var. pilosa Harz in D.F.L.von Schlechtendal, Fl. Deutschl. ed. 5, 4: 330 (1896).
Cephalanthera longifolia f. longibracteata (Harz) Asch. & Graebn., Syn. Mitteleur. Fl. 3: 877 (1907).
Cephalanthera longifolia f. pumila Asch. & Graebn., Syn. Mitteleur. Fl. 3: 876 (1907).
Epipactis longifolia var. gibbosa (Boiss.) W.Zimm., Form. Orch. Deut.: 81 (1912).
Cephalanthera xiphophyllum var. latifolia Maire, Bull. Soc. Hist. Nat. Afrique N. 5: 239 (1914).
Cephalanthera mairei Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 4: 58 (1919).
Cephalanthera longifolia f. pilosa (Harz) Soó, Arch. Bot. (Leipzig) 23: 114 (1928).
Cephalanthera ensifolia var. cesari-gonzalezii Rivas Goday & Bellot, Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 6: 191 (1948).
Cephalanthera ensifolia var. acuminata (Wall. ex Lindl.) Tang & F.T.Wang, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 1: 67 (1951).
Cephalanthera longifolia f. latifolia (Maire) Maire & Weiller, in Fl. Afr. Nord 6: 359 (1959 publ. 1960).
Cephalanthera longifolia var. latifolia (Maire) D.Rivera & Lopez Velez, Orquíd. Prov. Albacete: 55 (1987).
Cephalanthera longifolia var. rosea Perko, Ber. Arbeitskreis. Heimische Orchid. 19: 9 (2002).
Cephalanthera conferta (B.Baumann & H.Baumann) Kreutz, Eurorchis 17: 104 (2005).
Cephalanthera longifolia subsp. conferta B.Baumann & H.Baumann, J. Eur. Orch. 37: 249 (2005).
Common name
: Long Leaved Cephalanthera / Sword Leaved Cephalanthera
Distribution: Europe, Mediterranean to Central China. This is the only species of the genus found in india.
List of synonym suggests it’s complex taxonomy.


ID requested VOF:
Valley of flowers is at an altitude of around 4000 mtrs. and having an extremely cold snowy weather. The photo was taken in June 2007. Normally the flowering season is August onwards.

–  Valley of Flowers is in Uttaranchal. En-route to Hemkund Sahib there is a place named Ghangharia. From here you can visit Valley of flowers which comes under the Nanda Devi Biosphere reserve. Here you have Forest Rest house as well as GMVN Rest house for night stays. It is really a very nice place. I had been there in the month of June, so I could photograph some of the varieties whose ID I had requested and got replies also. But from July end onwards it really turns into a bouquet having more than 300 varieties. Nearby there is one more location namely KHIRO Valley. Any more information if you require I will be glad to help. You can check out my earlier postings for a rough idea of the varieties which are available but for this particular variety I only have this photo. I will be posting some more photos of different varieties & would request you to help in identifying them.

This is an orchid. Cephalanthera longifolia (family: Orchidaceae). ….available in VoF. I think I can make out
from the pic where U have seen this. BTW VoF is not located at 4000m but at around 3600m. Hemkunt is at 4100-4200m.


Orchid from Kalatope, Dalhousie:
I used to think Dalhousie
was too cold for Orchids.. and indeed none of the local flower fans know of any Orchids to be found here… but I have till now found at least six different wild orchids at our altitude… here is one more… Cephalanthera longifolia

Yes this is Cephalanthera longifolia (L.) Fritsch [Basionym: Serapias helleborine var. longifolia L.].
Keep searching. You will get more. Your area is pretty unexplored. This is the season for some rare terrestrial ones.


VoF Week: Orchidaceae – Cephalanthera longifolia (L.) Fritsch:
Cephalanthera longifolia (L.) Fritsch, Oesterr. Bot. Z. 38: 81 (1888).

Distribution: Widespread from Europe, Meditterrnean to C. China
Current pic from Valley of Flowers, just next to the inner bridge.

Cephalanthera longifolia (L.) Fritsch, Oesterr. Bot. Z. 38: 81 (1888).
Serapias helleborine var. longifolia L., Sp. Pl.: 950 (1753).

Distribution: Europe, Medit. to C. China 

A very good orchid but not yet photographed by me.

This pic is from Valley of Flowers just after the bridge on right hand side. There should be more plants here and there. I have also seen it on Nagtibba.

Family: Orchidaceae
Date: May 2015
Place: Churdhar Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh
Habit: Terrestrial Herb
Altitude: Around 2800 metres above sea level

Yes Cephalanthera longifolia
Thanks for sharing…. never saw such detailed structure… as I never opened the flower….
I am surprised to see that you are a BSc student….

Thank you sir. And yes. I graduate in April next year.


SK 3813 22 July 2023 – Orchidaceae: 5 high res. images.

Location: Mid Hill way , Baglung, Nepal 
Date: 31 May 2023
Elevation: 2800 m.
Habit : Wild

Cephalanthera longifolia most likely.

Thank you …, however the images are not so good !

If you look around, there could be more plants. Go slightly up on the elevation plant. I saw it at around 3300 m, your elevation is almost 500 m below which could be warm so the flowers dried up easily. This plant likes snow!!

It is very far from Kathmandu. Maybe on the next trip if I can make it !




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