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

scolopax was first described  by Cavanilles from Albaida, Spain as long ago as 1793 and it takes its name from the perceived resemblance to the striking plumage of the woodcock, a small, long billed game bird ? Unsurprisingly its vernacular name is the Woodcock Ophrys.

This is a widespread, western Mediterranean member of the small O. scolopax group with a range
that takes it from Spain, through the Pyrenees into Southern France and as far east as Liguria in Italy.  It can be found growing in very differing types of habitat, tolerating either alkaline or acidic substrates and in both full sun or mid shade positions. Although O. scolopax frequently grows in the company of similar species, it's not particularly difficult to identify,  except of course where hybridization has complicated the issue. Some populations have suffered genetic interference from both O. corbariensis and O. picta and can exhibit intermediate characteristics.

O. scolopax normally comes into flower in early April which depending on location, is up to a month later than  O. picta and usually a month prior to O. corbariensis. In terms of proportions, both the flower and the overall plant of O. scolopax is mid sized between these other two species, being significantly smaller flower than O. corbariensis but larger than O. picta .It is also by far the commonest of the three species and in its favoured locations may be abundant. The petals and sepals are normally concolourous and vary in shade from white to mauve, although as can be seen from the photographs, they can very occasionally be a pink washed green.

The pictures here come from various regions of Southern France and Spain, dating from the beginning of April.