Ophrys apifera grows to a height of 15–50 centimetres (6–20 in). 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. The gynostegium is at right angles, with an elongated apex. Ophrys apifera is the only species of the genus Ophrys which preferentially practices self-pollination. The flowers emit allomones that attract the bee species Tetralonia cressa and Eucera pulveraceae. Eucera longicornis males have been observed attempting to copulate with the flowers. It is believed that male bees would preferentially select orchids with the most bee-like lips and attempt to mate with them, transferring pollen in the process.
Molenbeek, Erps-Kwerps. http://oud.kortenberg.com/kaardebol/mole...
Spotted on Jun 15, 2014
Submitted on Aug 19, 2014
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