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

O. kedra
was first described by Paulus from Rethymnon, Crete in 2007 and is a member of the O. fusca group of Ophrys. Its name derives from the Greek word Kedros, meaning cedar.

This species is endemic to Greece being known from only three areas, the island of Kythira that lies off the south coast of the Peloponnese, Laconia and the Spili district of Crete. It is a Pseudophrys that should not be difficult to distinguish from any other of the several Greek O. fusca group members, as it  possesses several differentiating characteristics. The first of these features is the large size of its flowers, which with a lip length of nearly 17cms, is significantly longer than that of O. phaidra. Secondly it is a late flowerer which on Crete does not commence blooming until mid April though a week earlier in the Peloponnese where it grows at lower altitudes.

At first sight the plant looks remarkably like that of O. iricolor, an Ophrys of similar proportions and one with which it regularly associates. One of the key differences between them is the speculum, which in O. iricolor is usually both brighter and more heavily patterned. O. kedra is however a reasonably varied species both in colouration and particularly in lip shape, which often exhibits strong lateral convexity, a feature that as a consequence produces a very narrow lip, with little visible yellow border. The pictures all depict examples of the plant from the hills of the mountain plateau above Spili, Crete and which tend to be somewhat darker than plants from either of the other locations. They date from the third week of April, at a time when many of the plants were still in tight bud.