Orchidaceae
Cephalanthera austiniae

Phantom Orchid

Erect, all white. Stem bare at bottom with white leaf-like bracts 1–2 in. long on petioles along upper stem. Flowers white, 10–20 in leaf axils, petals longer than lip, small yellow patch on lip. Grows in rich forest soils in deep shade only in Pacific Northwest, where it grows in relationship with a single family of fungus that in turn forms association with several species of trees. Able to lie dormant for years between flowerings. Take photographs but don't disturb this rare, endangered plant.

  • Rarity: Rare
  • Flowering Time: Early Summer
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Height: 8--22 inches
  • Habitat: West-Side Forest
  • Found In: Olympic NP, Mt. Rainier NP, N Cascades NP
  • Native: Yes