AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Ophrys fusca Link, J. Bot. (Schrader) 1799(2): 324 (1800).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Arachnites fuscus (Link) Tod. in F.W.Schmidt, Fl. Boëm. 1: 98 (1793).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Ophrys kedra Paulus, Jahresber. Naturwiss. Vereins Wuppertal 60: 124 (2007).
Ophrys meropes P.Delforge, Naturalistes Belges 90: 184 (2009).
Ophrys theophrasti Devillers & Devillers-Tersch., Naturalistes Belges 90: 289 (2009).
Description:
Stems 10-30 cm, glabrous, with 3-4 leaves. Basal leaves 1.5-2 x 4-7 cm, elliptic to broadly lanceolate, mucronate; upper leaves lanceolate, acute and clasping the stem. Bracts 3-6 x 15-20 mm, lanceolate, usually longer than the ovary. Spike with 1-5 flowers, rarely more, usually upper flowers opening and maturing first. Flowers about 2cm wide. Sepals 2-4 x 10-12mm, oblong lanceolate, acute, pale green-green, usually 3-veined. Petals 1-1-5 x 5-7 mm, linear, greenish. Labellum 10-15 mm, trilobed, velvety, brownish-purple to grey; middle lobe notched; speculum 2-lobed, greyish, with a rather indistinct whitish border. Column obtuse.
Habitat:
Mediterranean communities, especially forests. Fl. January-April.
Distribution:
Medit.