|30-45 cm (1-1.5 ft)
Anacamptis papilionacea (L.) R.M.Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W.Chase is one of the species transferred from Orchis at the end of the 1990s. With three subspecies, its range covers Spain and Portugal, the North coast of Africa from Morocco to Tunisia, Italy and part of the Balkans and reaching Azerbaijan in the east. The inflorescence consists of fewer but bigger single flowers than in other Anacamptis, with delicate lines spreading from the base to the rim of the lip. The plants prefer an open, sunny habitat, but are tolerant of a wide spectrum of soil pH. A lack of hardiness keeps them from reaching higher altitudes. Main time of growth is the wet, Mediterranean winter. The flowers open up between March and the beginning of May, depending on the latitude, and seeds ripen before the dry summer sets in.
The first photo shows a plant cultivated by Johannes-Ulrich Urban who finds it easy as a potted specimen in Portugal after a first year of settling in. This specimen seem to be his local subspecies messenica (Renz) H.Kretzschmar, Eccarius & H.Dietr. (note: in 2022 not separated to subspecies level). The second photo by Martin Bohnet shows subspecies papilionacea, the dominant form in Italy and parts of the Balkans with its more narrow lip, which he grows under frost-free conditions.