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Giant Orchid

Himantoglossum robertianum


Mediterranean orchid with wide distribution in central Greece, the Peloponnese and the islands. Common in Attica. Robust plant, It is undoubtedly the largest orchid with a height that often exceeds 50cm. Flowers in dense inflorescence with a variety of colors and tones, from red and white to green.


Often in phrygana, stony locations, olive groves, it is the first orchid of the year since it appears even from January.


This particular finding was unique because, although you often see this species in groups of 5-6, this is an incredibly dense meadow with more than 300 flowering plants of a variety of colors. It was a lucky day!

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Tania17 2 years ago

Thanks so much Machi for the nomination! Thank you Tukup!

I would like to add that as shown in the 4th photo the observation site is located in the free area of ​​the Athens International Airport and thus explains the undisturbed state of the population and its size, and, together with other records is an indication of rich biodiversity especially for orchids.

It is worth mentioning here that out of the approximately 60 species of Attica, in this relatively small area of ​​the airport 21 species of wild orchids were recorded (another one was added last Spring).

Tukup 2 years ago

Congratulations on the nomination for SOTW Tania. Well done.

Machi 2 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Tania17 2 years ago

Thank you Jae!

Jae 2 years ago

Great serie of photos and information, Tania17.

Tania17 2 years ago

Thank you Tukup for your kind words and the opportunity to talk a little more about an unusual icon that I don't think I 'll see again in my life.
For me too, such a large population of orchids was an amazing sight although in the open spaces of Athens Airport where this spotting is, 20 taxa of wild orchids have been found (rare or Greek endemics included).
Some species form large populations but in this case, such numbers from the largest and most robust Mediterranean orchid, offers for sure an orgiastic spectacle!

Tukup 2 years ago

I've never seen orchids in the wild growing so abundantly. And the closer you get, the prettier they are. Wow. Thanks for sharing Tania.

Spotted by


Spotted on Feb 23, 2021
Submitted on Mar 7, 2021

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