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

O. lindia was first described from Rhodes by Paulus in 2001 and is a member of the O. subfusca group of  Ophrys. Its name refers to the Greek goddess Athena-Lindia who was an honoured deity of the small town of Lindos on Rhodes.

This is a rare species and one which can be extremely difficult to identify with certainty. It is known from Rhodes, Lesbos, Karpathos and Anatolia but is thought also to occur on other of the Aegean islands, notably Chios. The high possibility of confusing this Ophrys with other similar and more widespread species is one of the probable reasons why it's distribution is not better known.

There are several characteristic features of O. lindia though none can be regarded as completely diagnostic. Perhaps the most significant of these features is the chestnut brown, very hairy lip with a usually broad, bright yellow margin. The lateral lobes are very convex and can often fold completely behind the median lobe. The sinuses are long and the speculum is often drab and often only vaguely divided. O. lindia is a small, few flowered plant but as seen in the third photograph, has a sturdy stem and a robust, crowded rosette of silvery green leaves.

The first three photos depict flowers that had only recently opened and the lateral lobes had not fully folded back. It does however serve to highlight how rounded they are and how the wide yellow margin follows the contours of the deep sinuses. The pictures are from Rhodes and Lesbos and date from the beginning of April.