|John and Gerry's Orchids of Britain and Europe|
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This Italian endemic is a member of the small O. lunulata group which was first described from Foggia
by Danesch and Danesch in 1971. Its name refers to the promontory of Mount Gargano where this
species is at its most frequent, although it should be stressed that nowhere within its range is at all a
O. promontorii has a central peninsula Italian distribution and may be encountered from the Abruzzi
region in the north, down through the eastern provinces to Brindisi in the south. As already mentioned,
its headquarters is firmly the Gargano peninsula where it prefers short grassland and meadows on
alkaline substrates up to approx 1300m.
This is a relatively stable Ophrys although an enthusiastic hybridizer with several recognized and
named forms IE :- O. promontorii x O. bertoloniformis = O. azurea ; O. promontorii x O. incubacea =
O. angelensis . There is considerable expert debate as to the origins of this species and whilst Delforge
doubts any hybrid heritage, many others are completely convinced of this. The precise identity of the contributing species is however a matter of some disagreement with O. incubacea, O. lunulata and even
O. garganica being suspected.
Notwithstanding hybrids, O. promontorii is not easily confused with other species and will generally present several stable features. It is invariably green sepalled and hirsuit with basal swellings that
are hairless on the inner face. The speculum can however vary from a full glossy blue shield to a loose
H formation and most commonly, two or more isolated dots or streaks.
The following oddities are hybrids. The first with O. garganica and the second and third are an unlikely cross with O. apulica.