On May 18 is showed a picture of Ophrys insectifera ((Fly Orchid / Vliegenorchis). It is one of the most spectacular Orchid species to find in Belgium. Last saturday on a trip to Germany I went looking for a very, very rare variety of this species: Bright yellow and white coloured.
Due to a genetic mutation this variety lacks the anthocyanins (from Greek: ἀνθός (anthos) = flower + κυανός (kyanos) = blue), the water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue and give the flower the normal colourings which are adaptive for attracting pollinators. (You can see the normal colouring in the picture of 18 May). In huge populations of the normal coloured form, this mutution sometimes takes place and a few plants of this var. ochroleuca (sometimes called var. flavescens) can be found.
Although I knew that this var. occured in the area where I was looking (yes, I was tipped), I had to search more than 2 hours to find it ... The plants disappear nearly completely in the surrounding yellow and green coloured vegetation...
I've seen more than 100 different European Orchid species in the wild by now, but I must say... this one was the most wonderfull I ever saw.
Image: Germany 22/05/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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