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Ophrys attaviria

O. attaviria was first described from Rhodes in 1990 by Ruckbrodt and Wenker. Its name refers to the area in which it was first formally recognized - Mount Attaviros in the north west of the island.
This is a rare member of the small (six species) O. attaviria group whose distribution is based on Rhodes and adjacent areas ofAnatolia. Its full range isn't known with certainty but assumed to include some other of the Aegean islands, Crete and perhaps eastwards as far as Cyprus.

This is a very difficult orchid to identify with certainty and having studied many pictures and accounts from other sources, it frankly gets no easier. In fairness many of these sites don't generally claim to be totally authorititive and we make the same disclaimer for the accompanying pictures .

There are four features which seem generally consistent and can be helpful with its identification:- 1. It is a large flower and perhaps one of the largest of the Pseudophrys. 2.  It has a narrow yellow to red lip margin although this is often difficult to discern due to the recurved lip margin. 3. The silver/grey omegas  at the tip of the speculum are well demarcated and bold. 4. The sinuses are broad, although this is not always obvious with a strongly recurved median lobe.

On Rhodes this species is local and rather rare being found growing on suitable alkaline soils in both full sun or open pinewoods. O. attaviria is a relatively late flowerer and can appear up to a month later than the similar but smaller O. eptapigiensis.  The illustrations are all from Rhodes and date from the the third week of April.

The following photos depict flowers that are untypical and probably of hybrid origin.