Height up to 65 cm. Phantom orchid is a white, non-photosynthetic, rhizomatous perennial. Flowering stems have 5-20 vanilla scented white flowers, each with a yellow gland on the lower lip. The 2-5 bract-like leaves are present along the stem. The stems turn yellowish or brownish as they age. After flowering, dry, seed-bearing capsules may form.
British Columbia’s Coast Region Species and Ecological Communities of Conservation Concern
SPECIES PROFILE: Phantom Orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae), Family Orchidaceae “orchids”
BC Conservation Data Centre. 2015. [Internet] Species Summary: Cephalanthera austiniae. BC Ministry of Environment - BC Ministry of Environment. 2014. [Internet] Develop with Care Phantom Orchid. Factsheet #15. Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural Land Development in British Columbia. - BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks Resources Inventory Branch. 1999. [Internet] Voucher Specimen Collection, Preparation, Identification and Storage Protocol: Plants & Fungi. Standards for Components of British Columbia’s Biodiversity No. 4b. - E-Flora. 2010. [Internet] Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia. - Fairbarns, Matt. 2010. Aruncus Consulting [Pers. Communication]. - Klinkenberg, Brian. 2003-2008. [Draft in review] National Recovery Strategy for the Phantom Orchid (Cepalanthera austiniae) in Canada, Phantom Orchid Recovery Team and the BC Ministry of Environment, Surrey. - Schmidt-Ostrander, Ingrid. 2010. [Internet] The Phantom Orchid (Cephalanthera austinae). COC the Canadian Orchid Congress. - Proulx, Gilbert et al. 2003. A Field Guide to Species at Risk in the Coast Forest Region of British Columbia. Published
by International Forest Products and BC Ministry of Environment. Victoria (BC). - Taylor DL & Bruns TD. 1997. [Internet]Independent, specialized invasions of ectomycorrhizal mutualism by two nonphotosynthetic orchids. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 94: 4510-4515. - Taylor DL, Bruns TD, Leake JR & Read DJ. 2002. [Internet] Mycorrhizal specificity and function in myco-heterotrophic plants. Chptr. 15 In: The Ecology of Mycorrhizas. Ecological Studies vol. 157. Ian R. Sanders and Marcel van der Heijden, eds. pp 375-414. Berlin: Springer Verlag.
Species Profile prepared by: Pamela Zevit and Matt Fairbarns Aruncus for the South Coast Conservation Program (SCCP)
in partnership with: International Forest Products (Interfor), Capacity Forestry (CapFor). Funding was made possible through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI): http://www.sfiprogram.org/. Original account prepared by Cindy Sayre.
Updated and revised by: Isabelle Houde, RPBio in consultation with the SCCP. Part of the National Conservation Plan, this project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada. Dans le cadre du Plan de Conservation National, ce projet a été réalisé avec l’appui financier du Gouvernement du Canada.
Every effort has been made to ensure content accuracy. Comments or corrections should be directed to the South Coast
Conservation Program: email@example.com. Content updated March 2015
Image Credits: Phantom Orchid: sramey Wikipedia, Phantom Orchid flower close-up: Dane Blakely Springmeyer, Indian
Pipe: Wikipedia Habitat: Kym Welstead. Only images sourced from “creative commons” sources (e.g. Wikipedia, Flickr,
U.S. Government) can be used without permission and for non-commercial purposes only. All other images have been
contributed for use by the SCCP and its partners/funders only.