Serapias ionica

Serapias ionica
Photo: Helmut Presser, 31/03/2010, near Chavriata/Kefalonia, Greece

Serapias ionica is with 5 to 20 cm rather short. The 4 to 8 linear-lanceolate leaves are green, in the upper part sometimes with a red hue. The stem carries 2 to 10 flowers with sepals and petals forming a helmet which is directed upwards or horizontally. The labellum is broad, the lateral lobes projecting from the hood.

Taxonomic discussion

The plant was first described by Helmut Baumann and Siegfried K√ľnkele in 1988, the name was given by Erich Nelson. A synonym is Serapias neglecta ssp. ionica.

White colour of flowers

The flowers are normally reddish to purple. Given the fact that these plants are quite rare, the albiflora form is even more rare.

Habitat, bloom and distribution

Serapias ionica can be found on dry grassland. Bloom is from March to April. The species can only be found on the Ionian islands and the Southern Dalmatian region.