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Orchis militaris

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 22 May 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Series: European Terrestial Orchids

Orchis militaris (Military Orchid / Soldaatje) combines two of the qualities which make orchids so alluring; great rarity and great beauty. It is also one of the so-called 'maninkin' orchids in which the flowers resembles a tiny human figure (see also yesterday's image). Military Orchid brings to mind a soldier with a huge helmet. The rows of purple spots down the centre of the lip are reminiscent of buttons on a soldier's tunic.

Image: Lanaye (B) - 20/05/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/200 second F/8.0 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.

All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)


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dang from Atlanta, United States

Reminds me of "Stick People" drawings in it's shape, understandable it could be called manikin orchid. Nice, as usual.

22 May 2010 7:32am

@dang: There are a few orchid species with the same shape of the lip - the 'manikin'-look. Until today much of research is done to the function of this shape or the benefit the plant can make out of this, but no answers have been found yet. I think these shapes in flowers are one of the most impressive and interesting in plant-world.

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Interesting flower, and aptly named!

22 May 2010 3:29pm

@Julie Brown: Indeed :-) It is always a pleasure to find them. Last thursday I found a new spot with more than 1000 flowering spikes. I've seen this species for several years now, but I really was impressed by the sight of this "army" !

"Dutch" from Chicagoland, United States

Love the title as well as these flowers. I know as a child if I had them available I would be plucking those little people off there to play with them. Sad but naively true :)

24 May 2010 4:36pm

@"Dutch": The titles of my images are just the scientific names of the species. But many orchid names say something about the flower too ... In particular I think this name suits very well :-)
Playing with these little flowers would be nearly impossible... individual flowers are less than 1 cm... and they will not stand up if you place them on a table :-))
Besides ... all orchid species are red list species in Belgium, endangered and protected by law. Today I found two holes in the ground on a place there were two beautiful flower-spikes of this Orchid on thursday.... It is really sad that this is still happening.

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

I´m sure sooner or later some fashion guys will come to you and buy all these pictures to build an entire collection out of it.
These details are so fascinating!

27 May 2010 10:26pm

@daniela scharnowski: "Versace goes Orchid" ? Oh my God ... I think no one can get close to natures beauty ...

Canon EOS 400D
1/200 second
F/8.0
ISO 200
150 mm

plantae
magnoliophyta
liliopsida
asparagales
orchidaceae
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