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Bee Orchid

Ophrys apifera


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.

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The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Thank you Thanasis, Fyn and the rest :-)

Thanasis Samaras
Thanasis Samaras 9 years ago

Beautiful orchid

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Gracias Luis!

LuisStevens 9 years ago

Excelente serie Marta!

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Many thanks sunnyjosef! :-)

sunnyjosef 9 years ago

Lovely flower.... Great find Marta...

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Thank you galea.lara! :-)

galea.lara 9 years ago

Amazing photos Marta RubioTexeira! :) Well done

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Thanks beaker98!

beaker98 9 years ago

What an awesome orchid! I've never seen anything like that.

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Many thanks Adarsha and Madalena :-)

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 9 years ago

Beautiful capture Marta :)

mendes.madalena 9 years ago

Beautiful spotting!

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Thanks Jopy, Reza and the rest :-)

Jopy 9 years ago

Pretty orchid! Love it!

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Thanks Dilan! :-)

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 9 years ago

Wow!Beautiful series Marta~!!

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Thanks to you for appreciating the spotting, armadeus.4! ;-)

armadeus.4 9 years ago

Oh wow! Marta...a beautiful series of a gorgeous orchid. Thank you for sharing :)

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Pieter: if you go next year to the Natuurpunt reservaat in Molenbeek chances are that you will find them there. It was in a broad clearing in between woods and there were several species of orchids there at that moment and these were all over the place :-)

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Thanks Stephanie & hernandezwolf! First time I see them in nature while hiking. I was very happy to find them :-)

PieterColpaert 9 years ago

So nice you found one! I have never seem them here before :)

Stephanie R.
Stephanie R. 9 years ago

Such a beautiful flower, Marta! The colors are amazing!

The MnMs
Spotted by
The MnMs

Kortenberg, Vlaanderen, Belgium

Spotted on Jun 15, 2014
Submitted on Aug 19, 2014

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