Himantoglossum hircinum

Quick Characteristics:

Height: 60-100 cm (2-3.3 ft)
Flower Colors: pink, green, brown, white, patterned
Flower Season: early summer
Life form: tuber

Himantoglossum hircinum (L.)Spreng., the Lizard Orchid, has the most northern distribution of the genus and can be found from the UK to Portugal, Morocco, Algeria and the Balkans. It prefers lime soils on south-facing slopes. While the English name refers to the twisted, lizard-tail like greenish or brownish tongue, which reaches a length of up to 6 centimeters, the Latin hircinum as well as the German Bocks-Riemenzunge refer to the rather unpleasant smell of goat. The plants hibernate with a fully grown basal rosette which is already withering when the flower spikes emerge in early summer. Despite the size and the beautiful pink flower detail, the whole plant can fade remarkably well into its surroundings. The photos by Martin Bohnet show plants in habitat at the Swabian Alb.

Himantoglossum hircinum flower spike, Martin BohnetHimantoglossum hircinum flower detail, Martin BohnetHimantoglossum hircinum pollen, Martin BohnetHimantoglossum hircinum whitish color form unfurling, Martin BohnetHimantoglossum hircinum group of specimen, Martin Bohnet

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