Ophrys apifera

Quick Characteristics:

Height: 30-45 cm (1-1.5 ft)
Flower Colors: pink, brown, patterned
Flower Season: early summer
Life form: tuber

Ophrys apifera Huds., the bee orchid, is a middle sized hardy species native to the Mediterranean, but also occurring in Ireland, the southern UK and Germany. It grows in calcareous dry grassland or open forest areas. Unusual in Ophrys, the pink flowers tend to practice self-pollination in the more northern parts of their range, which results in a high rate of producing seed, but also to a reduced longlivety of the plants since the high cost of seed production weakens the plants.

Both the color of the sepals as well as the pattern on the lip differ between populations: Photos 1 - 3 show a plant in cultivation by Martin Bohnet, which sadly failed to return after summer dormancy. Picture 4 shows the flower of a plant in the wild on the Swabian Alp, southern Germany with paler sepals and a variation of the lip pattern.

Ophrys apifera, Martin BohnetOphrys apifera, Martin BohnetOphrys apifera in bud, Martin BohnetOphrys apifera, wild specimen, Martin Bohnet

Return to the PBS wiki Ophrys index
Return to the PBS wiki Photographs and Information page
Page last modified on December 22, 2018, at 12:22 PM
Powered by PmWiki