Pseudorchis albida (syn: Leucorchis albida, Gymnadenia albida) (NL: Witte muggenorchis / EN: Small White Orchid, White Mountain Orchid / DE: Weiße Höswurz, Weißzüngel / FR: Orchis blancs, Orchis miel ) is a species of European terrestrial Orchid. The single species in this genus is found in Europe and Greenland. This delicate and unassuming orchid is a boreal species. The combination of its small stature, dense spike of creamy white flowers and deeply three-lobed lip is distinctive. The individual flowers are bell-shaped and very small, just 2-4 mm across. The spike is carried on a long stem with a cluster of shiny green leaves at the base. The image shows var. tricuspis which favours calcareous soils and has the lateral lobes of the lip almost as long as the central lobe. (var. albida favours more acid soils and has the lateral lobes of the lip clearly shorter than the central lobe). The flowers produce nectar and are visited by butterflies, day-flying moths and solitary bees. Self-polination also occurs, as the pollinia eventually fall onto the stigma if an insect has not removed them.
Image: Passo Gardena (IT) - 10/07/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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