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Ophrys flavomarginata


O. flavomarginata was first described from Nicosia, Cyprus in 1929 and takes its name from the distinctive yellow margin of the lip.

This is a member of the six strong O. umbilicata grouping, endemic to the island of Cyprus although it has been reported further east (but extremely rarely) in Israel.  In Cyprus (including Turkish controlled area of northern Cyprus) it often grows alongside four other of its fellow group members, O.umbilicata itself, O. astarte, O. bucephala (once thought to be restricted to the Aegean basin) and another Cypriot endemic O. kotschyi.  O. flavomarginata is distributed widely around the island and relatively common.

There are features of O. flavomarginata which can easily create confusion with some of the above species,   there are however several key characteristics which can be readily recognized and distinguish it. Perhaps the  most important of these is the large size of the flowers which can be half as big again as those of O. astarte,  O. kotschyi  or O. umbilicata. The lip itself can be variable and may be either tightly recurved (see photo 1)   or remain flared in a way that gives it the appearance of a fuciflorid (see photo 6). The margin of the lip is however always banded yellow (sometimes orange) although its width can vary from broad to narrow.

The final significant distinguishing feature are the lateral lobes which are usually short and not "horned" in the same way as the other species, these lobes are also extremely hirsuit.

The pictures all come from the south of Cyprus, dating from the first week of March.