Ophrys apifera Orchidaceae Bee Orchid

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Ophrys apifera 30kb

Description - Small rosettes of leaves begin to appear early in the year, to be followed at the beginning of June by flower spikes up to 30cm, bearing 1-5 flowers. The flowers are very attractive, with 3 pink sepals (with the appearance of petals) two smaller greenish petals, above a brownish furry lip with yellow markings, which is supposed to resemble a bee.

Habitat - Grows characteristically in chalk grassland, thus quite rare in Guernsey. Around the Port Soif area there is a pocket of more basic soil, derived from calcareous sea-shells, and here the plant manages to survive.

Comments - A Guernsey rarity, for the reasons mentioned above. Numbers at the most frequent site vary from year to year, and odd plants are liable to pop up here and there, mainly along the coast, although several occurred one year in a garden along the Braye Road.

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