Anacamptis

Anacamptis Rich. is a genus in the Orchidaceae family. Created by the French botanist Louis Claude Richard in 1817, the name is derived from the Greek word anakamptein, meaning "to bend backwards". Since a reorganisation by Pridgeon et al in 1997 the genus contains about 20 species, several of which were transferred from Orchis. The Genus is actually closer related to Serapias, with which it can form rather spectacular intergeneric hybrids. Several species are easy in culture, most are adopted to seasonal dry habitats.


Anacamptis pyramidalis Rich. commonly called the pyramidal orchid is the type species of the genus and is native to southwestern Eurasia, from western Europe through the Mediterranean region eastwards to Iran. Unfortunately, it is the one species which is rather difficult in culture. Though it can be locally abundant, it is generally threatened by anthropogenic introduction of nitrogen in it's habitats, marking it as a plant sensitive towards competition. The coloration of the flowers varies besides the occasional albino from pale pink to dark purple, with usually darker populations occurring in higher habitats. The photographs 1-3 by Caroline Langensiepen of plants growing in habitat in Wales, photo 4 by Martin Bohnet of a plant on the Swabian Jura.

Anacamptis pyramidalis, Caroline LangensiepenAnacamptis pyramidalis, Caroline LangensiepenAnacamptis pyramidalis, Caroline LangensiepenAnacamptis pyramidalis, Martin Bohnet

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