From the orchid genus Cephalanthera and the Greek -opsis, like or resembling, in reference to supposed resemblance of the type species to that genus. (PC).
WCM Protologue Reference:
Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., II, 32: 188 (1960)
Terrestrial or (less often) epiphytic herbs. Stem arising from a creeping rhizome, elongate, bamboo-like, many-noded, leafy in upper half, covered by sheathing leaf bases. Leaves several, chartaceous, plicate, articulated at the base of the lamina to a sheathing base. Inflorescences lateral, axillary, suberect, emerging from the axils through the leaf bases, suberect, racemose, peduncle bearing two or more sheathing, sterile bracts; floral bracts lanceolate, deciduous. Flowers spreading, showy, pubescent on outer surface. Sepals spreading, free, subsimilar, oblong-elliptic, lateral sepals oblique at base and recurved at apex. Petals free, spreading. Labellum trilobed, attached only basally to column, lacking a spur, lateral lobes erect with recurved apices, midlobe spreading, flabellate, bilobulate, with a markedly crispate margin; callus, if present, of two linear ridges. Column suberect, pubescent, basally extended into a foot; anther ovoid, incumbent, pollinia eight in two groups of four, clavate-pyriform, viscidium globose; stigma suborbicular; rostellum ovate, acute. Capsule oblong, rostrate. (PC).