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Ophrys flavicans


O. flavicans was first described by Visiani from Dalmatia in 1842 and is a member of the O. bertolonii group of Ophrys. Its name refers to the manner in which the flower yellows rapidly after pollination, this being an important characteristic in identification.

Space does not allow a full commentary on the different views concerning the status and taxonomy of this species, some regarding it as identical to O. bertoloniformis from across the Adriatic in Gargano, O. benacensis from northern Italy and O. melitensis from Malta. What is widely agreed is that it's of hybrid origin with O. bertolonii and O. sphegodes sl as progenitors and that in Croatia at least, sympatric speciation has led to its independant existence with characteristics that now distinguish it from its parents.

Amongst these features are the previously mentioned yellowing of the older flowers and its early blooming, from mid March to April. For a hybridogenous species its quite stable
in its appearance, with only perianth colouration showing any great variation, this normally entailing the degree to which pink/purple flushes the usually green base colour.

O. flavicans is thought (depending on opinion) to be endemic to the Dalmation coast of Croatia, centred on the Sibenik area and the single illustration comes from this region, being one of a late group of flowers found in the last week of April.