John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Ophrys ethemeae

This  orchid was first described as O. holoserica subsp. ethemeae by Kreutz in 2011 but was promoted to full species status by Delforge in 2015. It is a member of the O. bornmuelleri group of Ophrys and its name refers to the flowers ethereal qualities.

This newly recognized Ophrys is a plant of garrigue and abandoned terraces on calcareous soils but may also occasionally stray into positions of light shade. It can be found on many of the larger islands of the eastern Aegean as well as the adjacent Turkish mainland, though nowhere is it at all common. On Samos, from where these photographs originate, it can be found growing individually or in very small groups and often in association with other of the islands fuciflorid species, notably O. samiotissa and O. homeri

O. ethemeae, in its typical form is clearly distinguishable from other similar species by its quadrangular lip shape, small basal swellings and dark, reddish brown colouration. It is however somewhat variable and could on occasion be confused with O. samiotissa, though it would rarely if ever possess the characteristic, elongated, outward pointing horns carried by that species. In Samos its flowering coincides with that of O. samiotissa from early April and is fading by May when O. samia is coming into bloom. As already mentioned, it is an uncommon species which can be easily overlooked due to its habit of growing amongst other similar species

The pictures are from southern Samos and date from the end of April at a time when many of the plants were going over.