John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
Home Back to Anacamptis species Links

Anacamptis papilionacea ssp septentrionalis
 
 
The A. papilionacea group consists of just two species, A. papilionacea itself, commonly known as the Pink Butterfly Orchid and the Fan Lipped Orchid, A. collina. The former is a polymorphic species with a wide distribution and these factors unsurprisingly give rise to a significant range of natural and regional variations. First described by Linnaeus as long ago as 1759, the taxon has been intensely studied ever since, leading to the recognition of many forms and the creation of a list of synonyms far too extensive to detail in these pages (no less than 67 in 2013). A genetic study in 1993 comparing sub-species grandiflora, papilionacea and aegaea (then heroica) determined that the minimal genetic difference's discovered, were consistent with nothing more than separate geographic populations within a single cohesive gene pool and that they could not be regarded as sub-species, merely simple morphs. These findings were not universally accepted and new taxa continue to emerge.
 
A. papilionacea ssp septentrionalis was first described by Kreutz in 2017 and refers to plants from the more northerly regions of the species overall range; it is commonly called the Northern Butterfly Orchid. The lip is narrow when compared to many of its blousier cousins but its markings, although uncomplicated and more widely spaced are often bolder. The hood is paler than those of other varieties and often of brick red colouration rather than mauve. As has been mentioned, its distribution is northern Mediterranean, including south east France, northern Italy the Balkans, Bulgaria and Romania where it is a late flowerer from mid April to early June. The first four pictures are from the Var region of south east of France and depict typical plants whereas the last three are from northern Greece and examples of an intermediate swarm created by hybridization between A. papilionacea ssp septentrionalis and A. papilionacea ssp balcanica.











.