John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
Home Back to Ophrys species Links

Ophrys reinholdii

O. reinholdii
was first described by Fleischmann from Attica, Greece in 1907 and was named in honour of an eminent 19th century Athens doctor.

It is surely one of the Mediterraneans most beautiful orchids and belongs to the small O. reinholdii group of Ophrys containing just seven members. The other six species all have characteristically bold markings  and include amongst their number the equally distinctive O.cretica,  O.ariadne, and the extremely similar O. straussii . This latter taxon is a somewhat controversial one and the relationship between it and O. reinholdii would benefit from further study.

O. reinholdii has a scattered distribution from Macedonia down to Anatolia and is not by any means a common orchid, though it can grow in substantial colonies where it does occur. Although a distinctive flower it can easily be  mistaken for the aforementioned O. straussii and also the newly described O. reinhardiorum both of which share a considerable overlap of range.

O. reinholdii is a tall orchid growing to 60cms, with up to 10 flowers per spike and which favours lightly acidic conditions. Although it will tolerate full sun, it shows a  marked preference for coniferous  woodland clearings and the sides of tracks where the canopy has opened out. This partiality does however make it a difficult subject for the photographer both because of available light and finding clean plants that are not masked by thick layers of pine pollen. The  illustrations are from northern Chios and Rhodes, dating from the second week of April.

The following 3 photo's depict less typical examples of the species and may well be the results of genetic interference.