Orchids in Spain

Orchids in Spain

The Mediterranean species of orchids (Orchids in Spain) are all terrestrial (unlike the flamboyant tropical species that grow in tree hollows termed epiphytic.)

They are under constant scrutiny by biologists and it seems are constantly being renamed and re categorized.

Orchids have the smallest seeds of the flowering plant world, like dust and produced in great numbers, they differ from normal seeds in that they contain no food store or endosperm. Therefore the seed is more vulnerable to the conditions into which it falls and can suffer a high mortality rate. This happens because the seed must create a symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizae, soil born fungi, in order to germinate. It is only with the assistance of this fungus that the seed can then build up nutrients to develop a root and create green leaves. It can take over 10 years for this relationship to develop from germination to allow enough strength for the orchid to produce a flower.

This symbiotic relationship could explain why there can be an orchid flowering one year which is not seen again for several more years. During its green leafy phase the orchid may feed itself and supply starches to the fungi. After flowering, when the root is depleted and the leaves shrivelled it is reliant on the fungi to replenish any nutrients needed to produce leaves for another season.

Orchids in Spain are pollinated by insects and many of the Ophrys species flowers have developed to attract a specific insect even replicating the shape and pheromones of a female to lure a male. Meanwhile the Orchis species look invitingly like nectar rich types of flowers but do not offer any food rewards to their pollinators.

If you are visiting Andalucia looking for orchids then here are the Natural Parks you should head for

Here are some of the more easily identifiable orchid species in Spain. Common English name (scientific name) Spanish common name. (if you spot an error let me know!) 🙂


Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora) Hombrecillos ahorcados – OrquĂ­dea hombre
Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora) Hombrecillos ahorcados - OrquĂ­dea hombre
Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora) Hombrecillos ahorcados – OrquĂ­dea hombre

Height: 10-40cm
Colour: Green, Red, Yellow
Flowering: April to June
Soil type: Limestone
Portuguese: Erva-do-homem-enforcado
Catalan: Flor de l’home penjat

This orchid may be found in large open groups but its small size can make it difficult to see initially. There are around 50 individual flowers on one stem with green sepals forming a tight hood over a small figure with four “limbs”. The “man” can be red, yellow or an intermediate shade. The dense flowers are often slightly angled on the stem.They can be found in well drained limestone areas, partially shaded as in matorral / shrubland or in open zones of garrigue up to an altitude of 1600m (also occasionally in woodland clearings).

Spurless Violet Bird’s Nest Orchid (Limodorum trabutianum) Limodorum
Spurless Violet Bird's Nest Orchid (Limodorum trabutianum) Limodorum
Spurless Violet Bird’s Nest Orchid (Limodorum trabutianum) Limodorum

Height: 20-55cm
Colour: Violet, Green/Violet
Flowering: April to June
Soil type: Limestone

This is an elegant flower that can be difficult to spot in the dappled shade. It does not posses any green leaves. When fully opened the outer sepals form a wide horizontal line with the vertical central sepal creating the hood. The two upper petal, although slimmer, are almost as long. The lip is concave and white with purple streaks. This variety does not have a spur at its base as the English common name denotes. It is a plant restricted to shady / partially shady areas on limestone soils. It can be found to an altitude of 2300m.

The more common Limodorum abortivum has a long spur at the base of each flower.

Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis tremolsii)
Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis tremolsii)
Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis tremolsii)

Height: 30-65cm
Colour: Green, flushed violet
Flowering: April to June
Soil type: Limestone

This generally tall orchid grows from a rhizome rather than a bulb. The main colour is green or a yellowish green flushed with pink or violet. The 3 broad sepals are pointed at the tips, the outer ones angled downwards. The two upper petals are very similar to the sepals whereas the lip is a stronger pink / red colour and roughly heart shaped. The wide, pointed leaves are spaced along the lower part of the hairy flower stem.They can grow in full sun or in partial shade, in dry limestone soils. Often localized, they can be found in pastures, garrigue, scrubland and open oak or pine woodland up to an altitude of 1600m.

Epipactis tremolsii is confined to the western Mediterranean region where it grows in open mixed oak, cork oak and pine woodland. In Portugal in the Algarve region, it flowers rather earlier than Epipactis helleborine and can be found from April onwards (or earlier in an early spring).

Pyramid Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) Orquidea Piramidal
Pyramid Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) Orquidea Piramidal
Pyramid Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) Orquidea Piramidal

Height: 20 to 75cm
Colour: Pink (Occasionally white)
Flowering: April to July
Soil type: Limestone

The small flowers are compactly grouped together in a cone shape, the lowest ones opening first, making this an easier orchid to identify. The colour varies from a strong pink to pale pink and rarely all white.The outer sepals open outwards and the central one forms a hood with the upper petals. The lip is deeply cut into three lobes that are of almost equal length.They can be seen in openly scattered groups on dry rocky slopes, pastures and garrigue up to an altitude of 2000m. Pollinated by moths and butterflies.

Champagne’s Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii)
Champagne’s Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii)
Champagne’s Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii)

Height: 10-30cm
Colour: Purple, White
Flowering: April to June
Soil type: Alkaline to Acidic
Catalan: Botonets de ca

The closed hood with dark veins formed by the sepals is a distinctive feature of this orchid. The main part of the flower is broader than it is long, folded back at the sides and white in the centre. The spur which extends behind the flower is long and curved upwards. It may be found in various habitats including full sun to partial shade on alkaline or acid soils, meadows to open woodland up to an altitude of 1500m. Spain to France

Lange’s Orchid (Orchis langei) Orquídea de Lange
Lange’s Orchid (Orchis langei) Orquídea de Lange
Lange’s Orchid (Orchis langei) Orquídea de Lange

Height: 25-60cm
Colour: Pink, Violet, occasionally white
Flowering: April to June
Soil type: slightly acidic to occasionally limestone

The openly spaced flowers form a cylindrical shape along an elegant stem. They are more often a shade of pink with the stem flushed to match. The outer two sepals are angled upwards and outwards, rounded at the tips. The third forms a loose hood with the slightly lower positioned petals. The main lip is cut into three lobes, it is paler at the centre, often speckled with darker spots. It differs to other orchis species by its convex shape, described like a sheep’s nose. (My description would be like a cloth hanging over the tip of an ironing board). The basal leaves are narrow and often covered with violet spots.This orchid grows in partial shade in drained soils that are slightly acidic but also sometimes limestone. It can be found in poor pastures but more often in woodland clearings or wooded margins to an altitude of 1700m.

Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis Orchis papilionacea)
Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea)
Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea)

Height: 15-40cm
Colour: Pink, White
Flowering: February to May
Soil type: Limestone

These showy blooms are easily recognised. The main colour is pink which can be very garish with varying amounts of white. The lower petal is broad and distinctive. It may form clusters which help to make it visible.They can grow in a mixture of areas including pastures, garrigue and open woodland up to an altitude of 1800m in alkaline soils and frequently in limestone. Iberia and Mediterranean region.

Lax-flowered Orchid (Anacamptis laxiflora – Orchis laxiflora)
Lax-flowered Orchid (Anacamptis laxiflora - Orchis laxiflora)
Lax-flowered Orchid (Anacamptis laxiflora – Orchis laxiflora)

Height: 20-60cm
Colour: Purple, occasionally white
Flowering: April to July
Soil type: Damp – Alkaline to slightly acidic

This orchid will create attractive swathes in damp meadows. When distinguishing from other orchis species this is the first point to note. The flowering part of the scape is dark purple, the flowers openly spaced out. The two outer sepals, oval in shape, point upwards with the central sepal forming a loose hood with the slightly shorter upper petals. The lip is almost round in shape, folded on a vertical line. It is white in the centre, faintly marked with purple spots, the lower edge is slightly notched. A straight spur, angled upwards, protrudes from the back of the flower, it is approximately the same length as the lip. The leaves which are spaced along the lower stem are long, narrow and pointed.This orchid grows in seasonally damp or saturated alkaline (to slightly acidic) soils in full sun up to an altitude of 1600m.

Anacamptis morio x Anacamptis papilionacea (Orchis x gennarii Orchis papilionacea x Orchis morio)
Anacamptis morio x Anacamptis papilionacea (Orchis x gennarii  Orchis papilionacea x Orchis morio)
Anacamptis morio x Anacamptis papilionacea (Orchis x gennarii Orchis papilionacea x Orchis morio)

Height: 20-40cm
Colour: Pink, Purple, White
Flowering: May
Soil type: Limestone

This is an elegant flower that is a non fertile hybrid. This particular image is a cross between a Butterfly orchid and Champagne’s orchid. The flower has characteristics of both in that it has the closed hood of the Champagne’s with the darker veins, whilst having the showy wide lip of the Butterfly’s.The colour can vary between a purple hood with a pale lip to pink with a white lip. The upper part of the flower stem is flushed purple as are the bracts, one to each flower. The spur is almost straight, tilted upwards and slightly longer than the hood (sepals). Found where both of the parents are in close proximity.

Dense Flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata – Orchis intacta)
Dense Flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata - Orchis intacta)
Dense Flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata – Orchis intacta)

Height: 10-40cm
Colour: Yellow/Green, White/Pink, Purple
Flowering: March to June
Soil type: Slightly acidic to slightly alkaline

Dense Flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata - Orchis intacta)
Dense Flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata – Orchis intacta)

There is a lot of variation within this species within its height, colour range and number of flowers per stem. The flowers hardly open with the most prominent part being the compact hood made up of the three sepals and two petals. On closer inspection the lip is narrow and bears three lobes, the outer ones vary in length. The flowers are often set at irregular angles on the stem. There is a tiny cone shaped spur on the underside. The leaves, stem and flowers may all have violet spots.This orchid can grow in full sun or shade in poor pastures, garrigue, scrubland or in pinewoods to an altitude of 2000m.

Conical orchid (Orchis conica)
Conical orchid (Orchis conica)
Conical orchid (Orchis conica)

Height: 5-30cm
Colour: White, Pink
Flowering: February to June
Soil type: Alkaline to slightly acidic

This is a fairly small orchid with all of the flowers tightly packed at the top of the stem. The easiest way to identify this from other orchis species within Iberia is the long pointed tips on the hood. The three sepals and two upper petals form a tight hood in a shade of very pale pink, almost white, flushed with green bearing dark veins. This hood has a fringe of curly tips. The lip is deeply lobed, pinky-white and normally covered with darker speckles (occasionally without these spots). The central lobe is slightly convex which separates this form from others in Europe. The outer lobes are narrower and slightly dished at the tips. A sort spur is angled downwards.This orchid species can be found in full sun or partial shade in open garrigue, poor pastures and woodland clearings up to an altitude of 800m.

Bug Orchid (Orchis coriophora)
Bug Orchid (Orchis coriophora)
Bug Orchid (Orchis coriophora)

Height: 15-50cm
Colour: Dark pink, Burgundy
Flowering: April to July
Soil type: Humid Limestone to slightly acidic

This is a tall orchid of dark colour with the flowers and bracts forming a close cylinder. It has an unpleasant odour. The hood remains closed above the main lip which is cut into 3 lobes and curves backward. Behind the flower is a short spur which curves slightly down-wards.This species is found in pastures of limestone to slightly acidic soils in full sun to an altitude of 2500m. It requires humidity and grows in areas that are damp or under water for part of the year.

Similar = Scented Orchid (Orchis fragrans)
Height: 15-50cm
Colour: Pink, White, Green
Flowering: March to June
Soil type: Dry Limestone, tolerates salinity

Bug Orchid (Orchis fragrans)
Bug Orchid (Orchis fragrans)

The scented orchid has a much paler pink to off-white flower often marked with green. The central lobe is frequently longer than the outer two. It bears a sweet vanilla fragrance. Found in dry limestone soils in full sun on garrigue, scrubland, pastures and woodland clearings to an altitude of 1100m.

Southern Early Purple (Orchis mascula subsp. olbiensis)
Southern Early Purple (Orchis mascula subsp. olbiensis)
Southern Early Purple (Orchis mascula subsp. olbiensis)

Height: 10-30cm
Colour: Purple, Pink or White
Flowering: March to June
Soil type: Limestone (to rarely slightly acidic)

Southern Early Purple (Orchis mascula subsp. olbiensis)
Southern Early Purple (Orchis mascula subsp. olbiensis)

This is a small orchid, often found in clusters with all three colour variants present. The flowers have two very upright sepals either side of a loose hood above the main part of the flower. The stem may be flushed with purple. The central part of the flower is generally paler and decorated with darker spots, also it is also folded vertically, giving a narrow appearance. The spur which projects from the back of the flower is slightly up-curved and twice as long as the main lobe.The favourite habitat of the early purple orchid is in full sun or partial shade in rocky limestone areas, garrigue, scrubland and woodland clearings to an altitude of 2000m. (It can also be found in slightly acidic soils in pastures.)

Italian Orchid – Naked man orchid (Orchis italica) OrquĂ­dea italica
Italian Orchid - Naked man orchid (Orchis italica) OrquĂ­dea italica
Italian Orchid – Naked man orchid (Orchis italica) OrquĂ­dea italica

Height: 20-50cm
Colour: Pink, White
Flowering: February to May
Soil type: Alkaline

The flowers of this orchid are very distinctive in that each is in the form of a man with varying length of arms, legs and genitalia. The colour is generally pink with differing amounts of white in a mottled pattern. This is the only Orchis species where the edges of the leaves are wavy. They can be seen in scattered groups from full sun to partial shade in alkaline soils that are dry and often stony. They may also be in open woodland or pastures up to an altitude of 1300m.

Small-flowered Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora) Serapias de flor pequeña
Small-flowered Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora) Serapias de flor pequeña
Small-flowered Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora) Serapias de flor pequeña

Height: 10-40cm
Colour: Brownish/Red, Violet/Red or Greenish/Yellow
Flowering: March to June
Soil type: Alkaline to slightly acidic

The flowers of this species are small and positioned closely to the scape. The base of each flower is sheathed by a bract that is the same colour as the sepals with dark veining. The two upper petals are hidden inside the long hood formed by the sepals. The lip is a darker shade, normally reddish-brown or violet-red. The two side lobes which are lifted upwards are hidden within the tube formed by the sepals. The main central lobe is hairy, narrow and drops downwards or sometimes curls back. If you look inside the flower tube there are two purple/black lumps inside.This species of orchid can be found in a wide range of habitats from full sun to partial shade in wet meadows to dry olive groves, garrigue, scrubland and woodland clearings to an altitude of 1200m.

Tongue Orchid (Serapias lingua) Serapias en lengua
Tongue Orchid (Serapias lingua) Serapias en lengua
Tongue Orchid (Serapias lingua) Serapias en lengua

Height: 10-40cm
Colour: Reddish, Salmon, Yellowish, Pink
Flowering: March to June
Soil type: Alkaline to Acidic

There may be between 2 to 8 lax flowers on a stem , each with a bract, which can be coloured a reddish green with violet veining and is shorter than the hood made by the sepals. The hood is positioned on a horizontal line, it can be a pale lilac/grey with darker veining. The upper petals sit inside this hood and are not visible. The lip has three lobes, the outer ones are within the hood and curved upwards. The central lobe is long, wider at the top (where it is also hairy) and tapering to a point. Its colour varies between salmon, yellowish, pink and reddish-brown.This species of tongue orchid has a larger flower than the “Small-flowered Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora).” Also if you look inside the flower tube there is a single shiny purple/black lump. Found in full sun or partial shade, on drained or humid soils from alkaline to acidic. They will grow in poor pastures, damp or seasonally flooded meadows, garrigue, scrubland and woodland clearings to an altitude of 1200m.

Narrow-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia)
Narrow-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia)
Narrow-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia)

Height: 15-60cm
Colour: White
Flowering: April to July
Soil type: Limestone

The flowers are elegantly dispersed along a medium to tall stem. The petals and sepals are narrow, pointed and pure white with a yellow mark inside the main lip. The leaves are long and narrow attached up the stem to the first flower on alternate sides. There are no smaller bracts with the flowers.This orchid grows on calcareous soils on woodland margins in semi shade. It can be found in grasses in woodland clearings up to a altitude of 2000m.

Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra)
Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra)
Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra)

Height: 15-65
Colour: Pink
Flowering: May to July
Soil type: Limestone to slightly acidic

These elegant orchids have relatively large flowers openly dispersed along a tall stem each with a narrow leaf bract at its base. The main leaves are not in a ground rosette as with many orchids, but are attached to the flower stem. The flowers have long slender pink sepals and petals, the central lip has a white centre. (There is no spur on the back of the flower as with the orchis species) They grow in the shade or semi shade of woodlands on limestone to slightly acidic soils, to an altitude of 2000m

Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana) OrquĂ­dea gigante
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana) OrquĂ­dea gigante
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana) OrquĂ­dea gigante

Height: 25 to 80cm
Colour: Pink, Brown, Green
Flowering: January – April
Soil type: Alkaline

This is an early variety of orchid and aptly named as it is the largest in Europe. The large, deep green basal leaf rosettes form on the ground in December and January with a single, tall cylindrical flower spike emerging between January and March. The many individual florets are densely set along an upright flower stem or “scape” that can reach 80cm, often itself a dark purple. Seemingly at a distance the flowers are a pink colour but they can vary from a greenish white to a dark purple with a complex mottling surrounded by a darker border.These orchids, which have a light fragrance, can often be seen along grassy roadside verges and prefer alkaline soils with scattered shrubby vegetation such as maquis or light open woodland up to an altitude of 1700m.

Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum) orquĂ­dea lagarto
Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum) orquĂ­dea lagarto
Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum) orquĂ­dea lagarto

Height: 20-90cm
Colour: Green, White, Pinky/brown, Red
Flowering: May to July
Soil type: Limestone

Despite the fact that this can be a very tall orchid it may be overlooked as its colouring blends with the surrounding plant life. The flowers are very distinctive, with up to 80-100 on a single stem. The sepals form a green hood and the main part of the flower is white marbled with a pinky pattern, trailing off into a tail or tongue that is green or pinky/brown to red. This tail, of up to 6cm, is coiled up to begin with and then unfurls keeping several twists.This plant prefers limestone areas either open pasture, rocky zones with light scrub or on the edge of a tree line to an altitude of 1800m.

Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora) OrquĂ­dea abejorro
Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora) OrquĂ­dea abejorro
Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora) OrquĂ­dea abejorro

Height: 5-20cm
Colour: Green, brown
Flowering: February to May
Soil type: Alkaline

This is a tiny orchid and very easily overlooked as it blends into grasses given both its size and colouration. There are between one to five flowers on a stem. The sepals and petals are green with the main body of the flower being brown.They can grow either in full sun or partial shade in a variety of situations from damp pastures to dry open woodland and garrigue up to an altitude of 900m. Although they can form dense populations these are very localized.

Sawfly orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera) OrquĂ­dea avispa
Sawfly orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera) OrquĂ­dea avispa
Sawfly orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera) OrquĂ­dea avispa

Height:10-40cm
Colour: Pink,Yellow, Red/Brown
Flowering: February to May
Soil type: Alkaline to slightly acidic

Sawfly orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera) OrquĂ­dea avispa
Sawfly orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera) OrquĂ­dea avispa

The flower consists of deep pink sepals and narrow pink upper petals. There are also white forms. The lip is wide, hairy and coloured maroon-brownish with a yellow margin. The Sawfly orchid favours alkaline soils (but will tolerate lightly acidic soils) in open places or in scrub and shaded areas. It can be found up to 1800 metres above sea level. It is a perennial which can grow up to 45 cm, flowering from mid-March to May with 3 to 10 flowers per stem. They are widespread from the Mediterranean and eastwards.The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. There may be many single specimens scattered around or they can create a flowering clump.

Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) OrquĂ­dea abeja
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) OrquĂ­dea abeja
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) OrquĂ­dea abeja

Height: 20-70cm
Colour: Pink, Brown, White, Off-white
Flowering: April to July
Soil type: Alkaline

This can be a very tall orchid with the flowers openly spaced along the stem. The most obvious identification for this orchid is the downwards angle of the two outer sepals. The third points upwards and will fold back as the flower ages, these sepals are broad and bear a green central vein are dark pink, pale pink or occasionally white. The two upward petals are very small, almost triangular, green to purplish and may be hairy. Above the main lip is a green projection a little like a swans neck. The lip may have a variation of patterns with a basic brown velvety central lobe that is convex in shape. The pattern below the “open mouth” consists of a violet line bordered in off-white- it may look like a shirt collar a shallow W or an H. The outer lobes are very small in comparison, very hairy to velvety, green or brown.These can appear in a variety of habitats in full sun or shade, from dry to saturated alkaline soils. They grow on dry pastures to damp meadows, garrigue, scrubland, hedgerows and woodland clearings to 1800m altitude.

Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax scolopax) OrquĂ­dea perdiz / OrquĂ­dea becada
Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax scolopax) OrquĂ­dea perdiz / OrquĂ­dea becada
Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax scolopax) OrquĂ­dea perdiz / OrquĂ­dea becada

Height: 10-50cm
Colour: Pink, Brown, White, and rarely Green
Flowering: March to June
Soil type: Alkaline

Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax scolopax) OrquĂ­dea perdiz / OrquĂ­dea becada
Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax scolopax) OrquĂ­dea perdiz / OrquĂ­dea becada

The 3 sepals on this species can be dark pink, white and occasionally green with the two upright petals matching. The flowers 3 to 12 flowers are spread out along a tall stem. The lip has an intricate pattern, mainly a reddish brown with a varying central H shaped mark, which may be bluish edged with off white. The two smaller side lobes are like short arms covered in hairs. The central lobe is convex with a small green / yellow upturned tip. It may be found in a variety of habitats from alkaline to slightly acid, in damp or dry pastures. Also in garrigue, scrubland and woodland clearings to an altitude of 1700m.

Sombre Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca) OrquĂ­dea abeja negra
Sombre Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca) OrquĂ­dea abeja negra
Sombre Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca) OrquĂ­dea abeja negra

Height: 10-30cm
Colour: Brown, Green, Yellow
Flowering: February to May
Soil type: Alkaline

This is an early flowering orchid, beginning in February. Its colours are sombre as the common name suggests, therefore it can be difficult to spot even though it can be found growing in large scattered groups. There are between 3 to 10 flowers per stem. The sepals are green, the main lip and its three lobes are a velvety brown with a central bluish W. There is usually a very fine yellow to green trim around the three lobes which lacks the velvet appearance. It grows in full sun to partial shade in alkaline soils. They can be found in pastures, garrigue, scrubland and woodland clearings to an altitude of 1100m.

Dyris Orchid (Ophrys fusca subsp. dyris)
Dyris Orchid (Ophrys fusca subsp. dyris)
Dyris Orchid (Ophrys fusca subsp. dyris)

Height: 10-40cm
Colour: Brown, Green, Off-white
Flowering: March to May
Soil type: Alkaline

This orchid can easily be overlooked as its subtle colours blend into grasses. The sepals are green and the narrow, wavy upper petals a green/orange tone. The main lip is convex and divided into three lobes with the central lobe also being notched at the base. The three lobes have a velvety, brown covering with a smooth outer trim that can be green, yellow, brown or orangey. The centre of the flower has a lemon peel type surface, the colour here is brown underlined by a W shape of a lighter shade; pink, off-white or grey.This orchid grows on alkaline soils in pastures, garrigue, scrubland and woodland clearings up to an altitude of 2000m.

Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum) OrquĂ­dea espejo
Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum) OrquĂ­dea espejo
Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum) OrquĂ­dea espejo

Height: 5-25cm
Colour: Blue, Brown, Green
Flowering: March to April
Soil type: Alkaline

A distinctive shiny blue shield on the main part of the flower makes this an easy orchid to identify. There can be between 2 and 8 flowers per stem, each edged with a hairy brown trim. The sepals are green with a varying thickness of brown streaks.The mirror orchid will grow in full sun or partial shade on alkaline soils. It grows in dry areas on roadside verges, pastures, garrigue, matorral / scrubland and woodland clearings. This orchid can be found from coastal areas up to an altitude of 1200m.

Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea) Flor de abeja amarilla
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea) Flor de abeja amarilla
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea) Flor de abeja amarilla

Height: 10-30m
Colour: Yellow, Brown, pale Green
Flowering: March to May
Soil type: Alkaline

The Yellow Ophrys or Yellow Bee Orchid has an easily recognised concave yellow lip, divided into three lobes. This wide yellow border surrounds a dark brown / red central area that may have a bluish hue. The two small upright petals may be yellow to green nestled within the three pale green sepals.These can be found in areas of full sun to partial shade on alkaline soils, sometimes creating large communities. It will grow in pastures, garrigue, scrubland and woodland clearings up to an altitude of 1800m.

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