Syn.: Arachnites bombyliflorus (Link) Tod., Ophrys tabanifera Willd., Ophrys distoma Biv., Ophrys hiulca Mauri, Ophrys canaliculata Viv., Ophrys labrofossa Brot.
Family: Orchidaceae Juss.

Ophrys bombyliflora

Distribution: Mediterranean region – from Spain to Turkish Anatolia, also the Canary Islands (Tenerife and Gran Canaria), the local population from Gran Canaria is sometimes referred to as Ophrys canariensis.

Ecology: It grows on rocky slopes and pastures, in shrubs (garrigue) and in forest margins, up to 900 m asl. It blooms from March to April (May).

Description: A perennial herb with an erect stem, 10–30 cm tall. Basal leaves oblong-lanceolate, acute, the cauline erect, slightly sheathing. Spike 1–5-flowered, lax; outer perianth-segments 9–12 mm, ovate, obtuse, green, sometimes whitish, the lateral patent or deflexed, inner perianth-segments c. 1/3 as long as the outer, triangular, purplish at base, greenish towards apex; labellum 8–10 × 11–13 mm, deeply 3-lobed, the lobes gibbous, brown or dark brown, partly papillose, partly glabrous, speculum scutelliform or 2-partite, bluish-violet, with paler margin. The fruit is a capsule.

Threat and protection: Ophrys bombyliflora is a protected plant by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Ophrys bombylifloraOphrys bombyliflora
Ophrys bombyliflora

These images were taken in Italy, Gargano, Mattinata (April 19, 2008).