Skip to main content
This species is accepted, and its native range is W. Europe to Medit.
<i>Orchis anthropophora</i> (F.M. / BBG, courtesy of the Swiss O

[O-EM]
General Description

This orchid can reach a height of up to 50 cm; however, on average it remains much smaller. At the base of the light green, smooth stalk, 4 to 6 lanceolate, bluish-green leaves, that are from 15 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, are arranged in a rosette. The upper leaves point more or less upward, while 1 to 3 leaves vaginate the stalk. None of these leaves reach the very slender, cylindrical flower spike that can be up to 28 cm tall. The individual flowers that are about 15 mm long, when opening, are loosely arranged in the lower part of the inflorescence, while the upper flowers and buds are quite tightly packed together. The short, membranous, narrow, lanceolate, pale-green bracts lean on in the angle of the un-stalked, strongly upward pointing ovaries.

Sepals and matched petals incline to a 7 mm wide, hemispheric helmet that lies from horizontal to slightly tilting foreword. The sepals are connected with each other at the base, but not at their tips and the matched petals are narrow, linear, blunt at the top and about 1 mm wide; they are also a little shorter than the sepals. The lip is considerably longer than the helmet (up to 13 mm) and is deeply tri-lobed; the central lobe is deeply split again into two lobules, between which occasionally, a very small tooth can be seen. All 4 lobes of the lip are very similar and resemble a little hanging man. The lip that hangs straight down has a slight hollow between the base and the scar; also located at the base of the lip are two thick, shiny, cream coloured calluses that secrete nectar, which is typical for this species.

Sepals and matched petals are from a pale to an intensely greenish-yellow colouring and exhibit deeply violet-purple to brown-purple margins. The lip is a dirty yellow, orange or is intensely auburn, only the centre is a little brighter. As the flowering period progresses, the red tones of the lip fade very fast. At the base of the column, two oval surface parts of the stigma are arranged obliquely in the relatively large stigmatic cave. The short and blunt anther is a dirty violet-purple, both yellow pollinaria have their own viscidium and therefore, can be removed individually by pollinators.

Threats

Predominantly, isolated occurrences are endangered on the northeast border of the distribution area. On the other band, the quantity of new sites has grown slightly in the last few decades. Remarks:

Ecology

Orchis anthropophora settles in sparse grassland and between bushes of bright scrubland that is not too dry, but warm; it prefers slightly alkaline soil, light in humus that is in a weakly shaded position facing south.

Biology

Orchis anthropophora hibernates as a quite large, spherical, to ovoid tuber, from which leaves have already sprouted in October, ready for the coming year; they remain green during the winter. The pollinators are small beetles, which also use the allogamous blossoms as over-night sleeping sites. Flowering time begins, according to weather, to the south of the distribution area by the end of March, in the north only by the beginning of May; flowering is complete by the end of June, after which all plants wither and shrivel away very fast.

Native to:

Albania, Algeria, Austria, Baleares, Belgium, Corse, Cyprus, East Aegean Is., France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Kriti, Lebanon-Syria, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Sardegna, Sicilia, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Yugoslavia

Orchis anthropophora (L.) All. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
May 15, 2006 Gilbert, J.L., United Kingdom 30521.000
CPCF [CPCF 460] 70495.000
Chase, M.W. [9903], Portugal 70680.000
United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum 201.000
United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum 202.000
Summerhayes, V.S. [1457], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum 203.000
Carr, R.A., United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum 204.000
Hall, P.M. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum 20416.000
Aceras anthropophorum 20417.000
Wood, J.J. [149], Greece Aceras anthropophorum 38956.000
Wood, J.J. [239], Greece Aceras anthropophorum 39488.000
Wood, J.J. [417], Italy Aceras anthropophorum 43663.000
Wood, J.J. [477], Italy Aceras anthropophorum 45875.000
Clements, M.A. [2559], Greece Aceras anthropophorum 48035.000
Joseph, J. [202], Spain Aceras anthropophorum 48818.000
Joseph, J. [370], Spain Aceras anthropophorum 48823.000
Bové, N. [s.n.], Algeria Aceras anthropophorum K000364028
Donn [s.n.] Aceras anthropophorum K000364038
Trevelyan, W.C. [s.n.], Portugal Aceras anthropophorum K000364029
Summerhayes, V.S. [2736], Great Britain Aceras anthropophorum K000811671
Hall, P.M. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811668
Salmon, C.E. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811637
Britton, C.E. [3164], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811640
Bond, S. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811663
Marten, J. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811677
Worsdell, W.C. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811687
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811694
Britton, C.E. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811698
Britton, C.E. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811699
Crosfield, A.J. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811700
Nelmes, E. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811703
Summerhayes, V.S. [2732], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811670
Prior, A. [s.n.], Great Britain Aceras anthropophorum K000811697
Taylor, P.G. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811658
Wardale, B.D. [s.n.], Great Britain Aceras anthropophorum K000811654
Whitcher, L.M. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811661
Dean [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811672
Gregor, A.G. [s.n.], Great Britain Aceras anthropophorum K000811679
Townsend, C.C. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811678
Fielden, A. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811709
Blaker, M.S. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811682
Chester, G. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811660
Salmon, J.D. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811643
s.coll. [1058], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811695
Richards, R.M. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811669
Salisbury, E.J. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811708
Mears, K. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811648
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811653
Summerhayes, V.S. [2588], Great Britain Aceras anthropophorum K000811649
Lowne, B.T. [1458], Great Britain Aceras anthropophorum K000811631
Fraser, J. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811705
Summerhayes, V.S. [2483], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811676
Saunders, A. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811674
Spare, G.H. [160], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811702
Le Sall, P.B.B. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811636
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811692
Smith, A.R. [650612/8], Great Britain Aceras anthropophorum K000970122
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811652
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811684
Williams, L.H. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811650
Rawlings, S. [123], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811646
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811673
Groves, H. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811642
Gregor, A.G. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811681
Stevens, W. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811633
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811675
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811632
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811644
Flippance, F. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811639
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811696
Gibbons, J. [s.n.], Great Britain Aceras anthropophorum K000811662
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811689
Nelmes, E. [37], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811704
Salmon, J.D. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811645
Hill, A.W. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811638
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811647
Fraser, J. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811707
Spare, G.H. [427], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811701
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811691
Britton, C.E. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811680
Stock, D. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811651
Pryor, R. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811686
Lowne, B.T. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811634
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811693
Hooker, W.J. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811685
Perkins, B.L. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811635
Garratt [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811657
Horwood, A.R. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811688
Nicholson, W. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811683
Jackson, G. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811690
s.coll. [s.n.], United Kingdom Aceras anthropophorum K000811641
Melville, R. [s.n.], Great Britain Aceras anthropophorum K000811630
Holmes, G [1102], Great Britain Aceras anthropophorum K000811664

First published in Fl. Pedem. 2: 148 (1785)

Accepted by

  • Dimopoulos, P., Raus, T., Bergmeier, E., Constantinidis, T., Iatrou, G., Kokkini, S., Strid, A., & Tzanoudakis, D. (2013). Vascular plants of Greece. An annotated checklist: 1-372. Botanic gardens and botanical museum Berlin-Dahlem, Berlin and Hellenic botanical society, Athens.
  • Dobignard, D. & Chatelain, C. (2010). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 1: 1-455. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
  • G.I.R.O.S. (2009). Orchidee d'Italia: 1-303. Il Castello srl, Italy.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Griebl, N. (2012). Die Gattung Orchis in Österreich Berichte aus den arbeitskreisen heimische orchideen 29: 94-110.
  • Kretzschmar, H. ,Eccarius, W. & Dietrich, H. (2007). The Orchid Genera Anacamptis, Orchis and Neotinea. Phylogeny, taxonomy, morphology, biology, distribution, ecology and hybridisation, ed. 2: 1-544. EchinoMedia verlag, Bürgel.
  • Kühn, R., Pedersen, H.Æ. & Cribb, v (2019). Field Guide to the Orchids of Europe and the Mediterranean: 1-430. Kew Publishing, England.
  • Lambion, J., Delvosalle, L. & Duvigneaud, J. (2004). Nouvelle flore de la Belgique du G. D. de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des régions voisines, ed. 5: 1-1167. Edition du Patrimoine du Jardin botanique national de Belgique.

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Griebl, N. (2012). Die Gattung Orchis in Österreich Berichte aus den arbeitskreisen heimische orchideen 29: 94-110.
  • Kretzschmar, H. ,Eccarius, W. & Dietrich, H. (2007). The Orchid Genera Anacamptis, Orchis and Neotinea. Phylogeny, taxonomy, morphology, biology, distribution, ecology and hybridisation, ed. 2: 1-544. EchinoMedia verlag, Bürgel.

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Science Photographs
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Orchideae: e-monocot.org
All Rights Reserved
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/