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Fly Orchid

Ophrys insectifera

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Asparagales
Family:
Orchidaceae (Orchid)
Type:
Flower
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Farmland, fens, grassland, lawns, meadows, scrub, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Brown, 5 petals
 
The flowers resemble wingless bluebottle flies, up to 1cm across in size. They are positioned solitary along an erect stalk. The flower is chocolate brown with a greyish-blue patch in the centre. The flower is shaped like it has got two arms and two legs.
Fruit:
A capsule containing several minute seeds.
Leaves:
Oblong, glossy, narrow and upright leaves. The leaves are mainly located at the base of the plant.
Aroma:
The scent of the Fly Orchid is said to mimic that of female wasps. This scent attracts male wasps which try to mate with the flowers, helping the flowers to pollinate.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map