John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
Home Back to Ophrys species Links

Ophrys attaviria

O. attaviria was first described from Rhodes in 1990 by Ruckbrodt and Wenker. Its name refers to the area in which it was first formally recognized, Mount Attaviros in the north west of the island.
This is a rare member of the O. attaviria group whose known distribution is based on Rhodes and adjacent areas of Anatolia. Its full range isn't however known with certainty but it is considered possible, if not likely to include some other of the Aegean islands, perhaps as far east as Cyprus.

This is a very difficult orchid to identify with certainty and having studied many pictures and accounts from other sources, it gets no easier. Many of these sites however, don't always claim their pictures to be completely authorititive and we make the same disclaimer for the accompanying illustrations .

There are four features which seem generally consistent and can be helpful with its identification:- 1. It is  large flowered, perhaps one of the largest of the Pseudophrys. 2. It has a narrow, yellow/red lip margin although this is often difficult to discern due to the recurved lip margin. 3. The silver/grey omegas  at the tip of the speculum are well demarcated and bold. 4. The sinuses are broad, although this is not always obvious with a strongly recurved median lobe.

On Rhodes this species is very local and found growing on suitable alkaline soils in both full sun or open pinewoods. O. attaviria is a late flowerer that can appear up to a month later than the similar but smaller O. eptapigiensis. The illustrations are all from Rhodes and date from the the third week of April.

The following photos depict flowers that are untypical and probably of hybrid origin.