Cephalanthera austiniae is the only species in that genus to be found in North America and is also the only species in the genus to be mycoheterotrophic, depending on a complex relationship with a soil fungus for its growth, since it has no chlorophyll and only rudimentary leaves. It is well-named the Phantom Orchid since it is often found on dark forest floors where its lack of color makes it stand out. It is quite rare and becoming rarer throughout its range, but there are places where is very abundant.
(Leavenworth area, very near blooming)
(Columbia River Gorge)