Sunday, May 05, 2013

Himantoglossum robertianum, the "large orchis"

Himantoglossum robertianum, the "giant orchis" was blooming prolifically at multiple sites in Provence.  Each site seemed to have slight regional variation in flower color and form that was shared among the population.  It's not clear what the pollinator was although I did see large black ants on some of them.

 Himantoglossum robertianum at Vernegues.  These were quite plentiful and most had a earthy brown hue.  This one had more lavender in the lip than the rest.  There were many of these in full bloom.

 Himantoglossum robertianum at Robion.  This was one of the few still in bloom.  Most had bloomed and gone to seed.  These flowers were narrower and longer than the Vernegues strain and the Oppede strain.

Himantoglossum robertianum at Oppede le Vieux.  These contained the most lavender of the three populations but were similar in shape to the Vernegues population.

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