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

saliarisii was first described from Rhodes by Paulus and Hirth in 2009 and is a member of the large O. bornmuelleri group of Ophrys.

The existence of this taxon was actually determined as the result of a Cretan study of O. holoserica species and their pollinators. Paulus and Hirth discovered that O. episcopalis was pollinated by Eucera cressa , a small endemic Cretan bee and so by extension therefore, O. episcopalis must similarly be endemic. In Rhodes and Chios the result of further study was the recognition of O. saliarisii as  a new taxon, with its pollinator being Eucera plumigera.

O. saliarisii is a relatively large flowered species with a complete coat of fine white hair that can be particularly dense on the shoulders. In Rhodes it is extremely difficult to distinguish from O. colossaea,  although this latter species is known to flower some two weeks later. O. colossaea has a slightly larger stigmatic cavity which is less constricted at the base. There is also a slight difference in pilosity, which in this latter species, although present, the hair is less dense and less concentrated on the shoulders. The fact remains however that natural variation within the two species can often blur the key identifying features and unavoidably, the only real way to separate them is to establish the identity of the pollinator.

O. saliarisii is not a particularly rare species and can be found in most suitable habitats on alkaline soils. The photographs are from Rhodes and date from the 15th of April.