Serapias orientalis

Serapias orientalis
Photo: Helmut Presser, 06/04/2010, near Diakofti/Kithira, Greece

Eastern Tongue Orchid

Serapias orientalis is a slender plant, 10 to 30 cm tall. The 4 to 6 broad-lanceolate leaves are light green. The stem carries 3 to 8 rather big flowers with sepals and petals forming a helmet which is directed slightly upwards or horizontally. The labellum is broad, the lateral lobes projecting from the hood.

Serapias orientalis
Photo: Helmut Presser, 06/04/2010, near Diakofti/Kithira, Greece

Taxonomic discussion

The plant was first described by Helmut Baumann and Siegfried K√ľnkele in 1988, based on the first description of Werner Rodolfo Greuter as Serapias vomeracea ssp. orientalis in 1972.

White colour of flowers

The flowers are normally red with a brownish hue. Albiflora forms are quite rare.

Habitat, bloom and distribution

Serapias orientalis can be found on grassland. Bloom is from March to April. The species can only be mainly found on Crete and Southern Greece.