Syn.: Arachnites tenthrediniferus (Willd.) Tod.
Family: Orchidaceae Juss.

Ophrys tenthredinifera

Distribution: Mediterranean species – all regions except southwestern Asia.

Ecology: It grows on meadows and pastures, in bushes (garrigue), up to 900(–1200) m asl. Blooms from April to May.

Description: A perennial herb with an erect stem, 10–40 cm tall. The basal leaves are ovate to lanceolate, subobtuse or acute, the cauline similar, acute. Spike 3–8-flowered, lax; perianth-segments purplish or purplish-violet, rarely whitish, outer 6–12 mm, broadly ovate, obtuse, glabrous, inner usually 1/3 as long as the outer, broadly triangular, papillose-velutinous; labellum (8–)11–14 × 11–14 mm, obovate, square or flabelliform, entire, rarely oblong and emarginate or indistinctly 3-lobed, purplish-brown, with a wide, yellow, densely hairy marginal zone, with a glabrous appendage, speculum reduced, often 2-fid, rarely scutelliform, composed of brown spots. The fruit is a capsule.

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

Ophrys tenthrediniferaOphrys tenthredinifera
Ophrys tenthredinifera

These images were taken in Italy, Gargano, Coppa del Sacramento and Coppa della Macchia (April 18 and 20, 2008).