“Orchideeën van de Benelux”

Karel Kreutz und Corinna Kreutz-Santen, Maastricht 8.3.2019

Turkey, Rhodes, Cyprus, Crimea – those are only some of the books about locations of orchids published by Karel Kreutz since 1998. Now he has presented a two-volume-opus about the orchids in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg: Orchideeën van de Benelux. The publication was accompanied by a symposium in Maastricht:

Among the lecturers was Daniel Tyteca of the Catholic University of Louvain, who presented the orchids of the Belgian regions Famenne and Calestienne. In the nature reserve of Lesse et Lomme alone, there are 31 species. Some of them, as Epipactis microphylla (2004), have only been proven a few years ago. Tyteca also pointed to colour variants of Anacamptis morio and Orchis mascula.

Those are shown in the book of Kreutz with special photos, as far as there are findings in the three Benelux countries. Albiflora forms are also shown of Dactylorhiza fuchsii, but interestingly not of Dactylorhiza maculata, Dactylorhiza majalis or Dactylorhiza incarnata – though there are albiflora forms of those species in other European regions. With Orchis militaris, Orchis simia and Orchis purpurea albiflora forms are also missing. Anacamptis pyramidalis is shown with a picture of an albiflora form of var. dunensis, which has been described by Londo, Kreutz and Sings in 2016. A hypochrome form of Ophrys apifera is also shown.

With regard to taxonomy Karel Kreutz is following the genus system of Daniel Tyteca and Erich Klein presented in 2008. Therefore Anacamptis morio is named Herorchis morio, Neotinea ustulata is Odontorchis ustulata. And Anacamptis laxiflora is introduced as Paludorchis laxiflora. But Kreutz is holding on to Aceras anthrophora und Listera ovata. The author concedes: Over taxonomie kan men sterk van mening verschillen – when it comes to taxonomy there are big differences of opinions. Zo is het onmogelijk om in dit werk een taxonomische indeling te hanteren, die voor iedereen aanvaardbaar is – therefore its not possible to present a classification which could be accepted by everybody. sei eine für alle akzeptable Klassifizierung nicht möglich. At least it would be desirable if the register at the end would also include the names which are used beyond the system of Tyteca & Klein.

In his opus Orchids of the Crimea, published together with Alexander Fateryga and Sergej Ivanov in 2018, Kreutz still followed the taxonomy which was developed by Richard Bateman, Alec Pridgeon und Marc Chase in 1997. The author explains the change to the system von Tyteca and Klein with their more recent genetical studies – although the conclusions are still controversial.

Next year Karel Kreutz will present a field guide Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Later on there is to follow a complete overview of the European orchids in ten volumes – expected for 2021/22, as it was announced in Maastricht. Since Pierre Delforge is following the taxonomic system of Tyteca and Klein since the 4. edition of his opus Orchidées d’Europe (2016), this taxonomy might achieve a broader acceptance in future.