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Ophrys sepoides

O. sepoides was first described from Ioannina (Greece) by Devillers and Devillers-Turschuren in 2004 and is a member of the widespread and increasingly confusing O. oestrifera group of Ophrys.

Recent years have seen a proliferation of new species being added to the Greek list of scolapaxoid Ophrys and correctly separating these taxons becomes ever more complicated. In many cases the species helpfully has a limited distribution and such is the case with O. sepoides whose range is restricted to the far north west of Greece and neighbouring areas of Albania.

This species is one of the more easily identified members of the O. oestrifera group being a tall and robust plant in all its parts. The flower is large and easily separated from either O. bicornis or O. cerastes with which it can frequently be found growing. The median lobe is distinctively globular and carries an almost complete band of light coloured marginal hair. The lateral lobes (horns) however are long and often very sharply pointed which when viewed against the portly body, appear somewhat weedy.

The speculum is variable but usually complicated and extensive, often reaching to within a millimeter or two of the appendage. The bright red, contrasting stigmatic cavity is relatively narrow and compact, rarely exceeding a breadth of more than 35% of the maximum body width. The sepals and petals are concolourous and normally dark pink to light lilac or mauve.

O. sepoides is a late flowerer, first appearing in early May and can still be in bloom as late as July at higher elevations. The pictures accompanying this page are from various sites in the mountains around Ioannina.