John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Orchis anatolica


O. anatolica was first described by Boissier from Carie, Anatolia in 1844 and the origin of its name needs  little explanation.

This is an eastern Mediterranean species with a range from the Cyclades in the west to Iran in the east and  encompassing many of the Aegean islands as well as Crete and Cyprus. It grows in modest and scattered  colonies and although widespread is both localised and not particularly common. O. anatolica is a plant that  avoids full sun, preferring woodland edges and clearings, tolerating calcareous, neutral and occasionally mildly acidic substrates.

Despite its resemblance to a heavily spotted O. quadripunctata, its rightful status as a separate species has  now been acknowledged by most authorities. O. anatolica readily hybridizes and where the two species meet, intermediates are almost inevitable. There are sporadic reports from around the Aegean of these hybrids and some authorities believe they have stabilized sufficiently to be given full species status and have consequently been formally described and named O. sezikiana.  In Cyprus O. quadripunctata is no longer thought to exist, having been subsumed as a distinct species by the hybridogenous O. sezikiana.

O. anatolica is fairly distinctive but on Crete may be confused with O. sitiaca and on Cyprus with O. troodi.
Reference to the species pages in this site will assist differentiation.

The pictures here come from Chios, Rhodes and Crete and all date from the beginning of April at which stage  many of the plants were well past their best.