John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Ophrys gottfriediana
 

This Ophrys was first described in 1928 from the island of Cephalonia and named after the Swiss botanist Gottfried Keller. It was originally regarded as simply a variety of O. ferrum-equinum  and  is frequently to be found growing in close association with this felow group member, though no specific relationship is recognized. In the Ionian islands, O. gottfriediana appears to exist in pure and distinct populations away from O. ferrum-equinum.

The species is endemic to Greece and known with certainty from Cephalonia, Ithaca and Zante as well as the Epirus coast. Reports from outside these areas  were initially thought to relate to isolated variants of O. ferrum-equinum, but in recent times it as become accepted by most authorities that in fact O. gottfriediana has a broader distribution in the country than was first thought. Although its full range is still not fully established, it has now been recorded from several widely disjunct area's including Mount Hymettus (to the north of Athens), from where the accompanying photographs were taken.

As already mentioned, O. gottfriediana is closely related to O.ferrum-equinum, though not particularly similar, being chiefly distinguished by the strongly recurved lip margins which give the flower a characteristic, slender, heart shaped  appearance.

This species is decidedly local and usually occurs individually or in small numbers, it can however be rather more numerous in the Ionian islands and especially Cephalonia.








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