Ophrys speculum

Ophrys speculum
Photo: José Antonio López Espinosa, 26/03/2018, bei Murcia, Spanien

Mirror Orchid

The Mirror Orchid (or: Mirror Bee Orchid) got its name from the bluish centre of the lip. The rather small plant with a height of 10 to 25 cm carries two to eight flowers, with the greenish lateral sepals spreading out. The dorsal sepal forms a hood. The small petals are triangular and reddish-brown. The three-lobed labellum is surrounded by a band of thick velvety hairs. The sides of the stigma have marked pseudo-eyes.

Taxonomic discussion

The first scientific description was supplied by Heinrich Friedrich Link (1767-1851) who studied the plants of Portugal in 1797 and published a report about it in the 1799 edition of the Journal für die Botanik, edited by the medical officer Heinrich Adolf Schrader:

Hypochrome Form

The very rare plants with a loss of pigments have green sepals, green petals,  green lip borders and a white lip centre.

Habitat, bloom and distribution

Ophrys speculum grows in the southern Mediterannean – from Greece to Spain and Portugal – on meadows and dry soils, up to 1200 m. Bloom is from March to May.