5. Cephalanthera L. C. Rich., Orchid. Eur. Annot.: 21, 29. 38. 1817. Mem. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 4:43, 51, 60. 1818.
Plants autotrophic, with rhizome and loosely clustered roots. Stem leafy. Leaves sessile, plicate. Inflorescence loosely or densely many-flowered, rarely only 1-2-flowered. Flowers white, rose or creamy. Sepals and petals similar, free, connivent or ± spreading. Labellum with concave or shortly spurred basal half (hypochile) clasping the column, jointed to flattish, crested apical half (epichile). Column semiterete; anther dorsal, erect or ± incumbent, fixed with small filament; pollinia 2, bipartite, mealy, without caudicle; viscidium obsolete; rostellum absent; stigma entire. Ovary sessile, not or slightly twisted.
A genus of about 12 species in the northern hemisphere, tropical Asia, Himalaya mts. eastwards to China, Japan. 1 species in Pakistan.