Ophrys apifera X heldreichii

Ophrys insectifera X speculum

 Comments to the offered plants:

Ophrys heldreichii. A large flowered and beautiful Ophrys. Frost hardy up to -6°C.

Ophrys lutea.  The true Ophrys lutea from the westmediterranean region. Easily distingished from closely allied species by its lemon scent. Frost hardy up to -4°C.

Ophrys reinholdii.  Large and very dark flowers on tall stems. Frost hardy up to -6°C.

Ophrys apifera-hybrids.  Very beautiful  and fairly easy  to  grow. Most Ophrys apifera-hybrids are frost hardy up to -10°C.

 Ophrys sphegodes-hybrids.  Fairly easy to grow.  Often with a large labellum und very beautiful. Most Ophrys   sphegodes-hybrids are frost hardy up to -12°C.

Ophrys insectifera-hybrids.  V ery beautiful  and fairly  easy to grow.  Ophrys insectifera is very often the   dominant parent in flower shape. The size of the labellum is intermediate between the parents. Ophrys   insectifera-hybrids are frost hardy up to -12°C.

Ophrys fuciflora-hybrids.  Ophrys fuciflora inherits its large flower, otherwise the hybrids are much closer to the other parent. It seems to be genetically recezive. Frost hardy up to -10°C.

Ophrys sphegodesXspeculum. Large beautiful lip and fairly easy to grow. Frost hardy in the F1. Selected plants  have been back crossed to O. speculum. The frost hardiness of the back cross is still unknown.

Ophrys insectiferaX speculum. A very beautiful lip. Frost hardy and fairly easy to grow.

Ophrys fuciflora X heterochila. Early flowering, in the garden from end of April. Flowers similar to O. heterochila, but much larger. Often clonal like O. heterochila. Not very variable.

Ophrys apifera X reinholdii. Large dark flowers, looking like bees. Flowers in the garden from the end of Mai to end of June.

Euromediteranean, from the Canary Isles to the the Caucasus, up to southern Scandinavia in the north.

Flower stems 5 to 80cm high, with a rosette of leaves, sometimes dissolved during flowering time in a few species. Ophrys has relatively few, small to medium sized flowers. The labellum is always without a spur. The perianth segments are spreading. All species are pollinated by sexual deceit, imitating the bodies of female insects.

Ophrys are a bit more demanding than Anacamptis, but are still fairly amenable in cultivation. All plants are summer dormant and rest as tuberoids. Plants emerge in late summer or in autumn and flower in winter, spring and early summer. Culture as sunny as possible. Frost hardiness depends on the species. Frost hardy up to -4°C (mediteranean species of the Ophrys fusca-group) or up to -18°C (Ophrys insectifera). Outside garden culture is possible in Middle Europe for some species. To avoid strong bare frosts give the plants some protection during the coldest months. Regular watering during the growing period is essential. Fertilize monthly with 0.2g/l until flowering. Reduce watering with the onset of flowers and stop as the leaves die back. Completely dry during dormancy. Occasionally a light spray of water for small plants and seedlings to prevent dehydration. If grown inside, move plants temporary outside in late summer as cool nights and some rain will stimulate plants into the new growing season.

Recommended potting mixes:
80% Seramis, fine to medium grade perlite, pumice or fine expanded clay give good results. 20% organic components. Favourable are fermented or N-impregnated wood shavings or saw dust. (Toresa has given good results.) 30% peatbased mixes as TKS1 have given even good results. Spagnum moss is not suitable. Substrates have to be well draining with a pH of about 6 to 7.

Further reading:
Orchids of Britain  & Europe
. Pierre Delforge, 1995. Collins Photo Guide.  ISBN 0 00 2200244.
Orchideen im Garten: Verwendung, Pflege und Vermehrung. Gerd Kohls und Ulrich Kähler, 1993. Parey ISBN 3 489 63624 4.
Orchideen für den  Garten: Europäische und tropische Erdorchideen. Alfons Bürger, 1992. Ulmer ISBN 3 8001 6487 6.
Hardy orchids. Phillip Cribb and Christopher Bailes, 1989. Timber Pr. ISBN 0 88192 147 5.
Die Orchideen Mitteleuropas und der Alpen. Presser Helmut, 1995. ecomed, ISBN 3 609 65600 X.
Ophrys aff. forestierii Ophrys aff. bilunulata

Ophrys aff. forestierii Ophrys aff. bilunulata
Ophrys aff. bilunulata
Ophrys speculum
Ophrys sphegodes X O. speculum


© 2000-2010 Heinrich Beyrle