John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Ophrys lesbis x bucephala

Most of the hybrids depicted in this site, have been included within the page of one or other of the parent species. Just occasionally however, one of these genetically mixed plants is considered  (in the humble opinion of the authors) to be of sufficient interest to warrant a page of its own, irrespective of its evolutionary significance. This is such a hybrid.  

Its a cross which realistically can only occur in a small area within the north west of the island of Lesbos, this being the only area where there exists a significant contact zone between two of the Lesbos orchid specialities, O. lesbis and O. bucephala. Neither species is endemic to Lesbos and there is a small possibility that there paths could cross in Anatolia or perhaps another Aegean island, the likelihood is however remote and this is a very rare hybrid indeed.

The single plant was found on a roadside verge close to the town of Andisa and some 100 yards from the nearest orchid of any species. It was a statuesque plant of some 35cms with more growth yet to be made. The flowers were large and distinctively marked with the bibbed speculum of O.bucephala and the broad yellow margin of O. lesbis. As far as is known this hybrid has not been formally named.

Lesbos is a very green island and on the day the plant was discovered the reason for the islands verdancy was unfortunately all to apparent. It was a day of unremitting heavy rain and the poor conditions did nothing to assist photography quality. The pictures date from the first week of April.