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Bee Orchid

Ophrys apifera


Perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the family Orchidaceae. Height of 15–50 centimetres. The plant blooms from mid-April to July producing a spike composed from one to twelve flowers. The flowers have large sepals, with a central green rib and their colour varies from white to pink, while petals are short, pubescent, yellow to greenish. The labellum is trilobed, with two pronounced humps on the hairy lateral lobes, the median lobe is hairy and similar to the abdomen of a bee. It is quite variable in the pattern of coloration, but usually brownish-red with yellow markings.


Native to Portugal. Widespread across Europe. Ophrys apifera generally grows on semi-dry turf, in grassland, on limestone, calcareous dunes or in open areas in woodland. It prefers calcareous soils, in bright light or dim light.


This is a protected species. Self-polination.

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Spotted by

Centro, Portugal

Lat: 39.66, Long: -8.53

Spotted on May 4, 2016
Submitted on May 4, 2016

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