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

This Italian endemic is a member of the small O. lunulata group and was first described from Foggia by Danesch and Danesch in 1971. Its name refers to the promontory of Mount Gargano where this species is  probably at its  most frequent, although nowhere within its range is it a common orchid.

O. promontorii has a central peninsula Italian distribution and may be encountered from Abruzzo in the north, down through the eastern provinces to Brindisi in the south. As already mentioned, this species headquarters is firmly the Gargano peninsula where it may be found individually or in small colonies in short grassland and meadows on alkaline substrates up to approx 1300m.

This is a relatively stable Ophrys although an enthusiastic hybridizer with several recognized and named forms IE:- O. promontorii x O. bertoloniformis = O. azurea; O. promontorii x O. incubacea = O. angelensis . There is considerable expert debate as to the origins of this species and whilst Delforge doubts any hybrid heritage, many others are completely convinced of this. The precise identity of species  contributing to its creation is however a matter of some disagreement with O. incubacea, O. lunulata and even O. garganica being variously cited. 

Notwithstanding hybrids, O. promontorii is not easily confused with other species and generally exhibits several stable features. It is invariably green sepalled and hirsute with basal swellings that are hairless on the inner face. The speculum can however vary from a full glossy blue shield to a loose H-formation and most commonly, two or more isolated dots or streaks. 

O. promontorii x garganica                                         O. promontorii x bertiloniformis                               O. promontorii x biscutella

O. promontorii x biscutella
O. promontorii x apulica
O. promontorii x apulica