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Ophrys apifera

Bee orchid

Garden

Wishlist

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Features

  • BloomsJune to July
  • Height0.15m to 0.45m
  • Growth HabitRosette
  • Flower ColourPink, back green; brown lower petal
  • Leaf ColourGrey green

Description

Ophrys apifera (Bee orchid). This plant is often found in the wild in Northern Europe. STEM: Upright, leafy. ROOT: egg-shaped or globular tubers; few, fleshy roots. HAIRS: Absent STIPULES: Absent LEAF-STALK: Absent BRACTS: Often longer than flower. FLOWER STALK: Very short SEPALS: 3, petal-like, elliptical or oblong. PETALS: 3; side petals spear-shaped; lower almost globular, velvety, 3-lobed, the lowest bent under, spur absent. STAMENS: 1, stalkless. STIGMA: 2; style absent. OVARY: 1, below petals, 1-celled. SEEDS: Many, minute, dust-like.

Characteristics

Perennial, Deciduous, Orchid

Other common names

Orchid

Origin

Europe, N.Africa & W. Asia

Interest and use

Wildflower/meadow

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Needs

  • LightFull sun or Part shade
  • HardinessFully hardy (min -15°C)
  • SoilHeavy, Light, Medium, Lime-rich
  • Soil pH7.0 to 5.0
  • WaterMoist

Cultivation

They are very difficult to cultivate, you will need to grow in leafy, moist, gritty, well-drained soil in partial-shade. You should try and propagate by seeds which should be sown in sterile flasks or tissue culture are the best options.

Propagation

Division of tubers where possible, or orchids with pseudobulbs may have older leafless ones removed and repotted.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Slugs and snails.

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