Really looking forward to some exciting Orchid hunting next year between March and June.
|Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea).|
Towards the end of March the main Orchid season kicks off down here in Southern Spain but before this even there have been a couple of the species in the Ophrys fusca group that have been flowering from as early as January.
|Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea).|
Over in Malaga Province they have the uncommon Ophrys Malacitana and further East in Granada we get the very similar Ophrys foresteri, both plants are considered be some authorities to be full species in their own right but just variations of fusca by others along with some other similar plants.
|Two-leaved Gennaria (Gennaria diphylla).|
Another of the very early flowering species is the Two-leaved Gennaria (Gennaria diphylla) which can be found down on the Granada coast and in the woods and quarries of Malaga Province.
Anyway once March arrives I enjoy visiting an area of Pine woodland in the Sierra de Mijas where there is a very good show of several species including the very variable Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax), during several visits I (along with friends) also found a couple of hybrid plants with Scolopax, the first was a cross with Ophrys speculum (O x castroviejoi) and the second with tenthredinifera (O x peltieri).
|Conical Orchid (Neotinea conica).|
In the same area there are also a good number of other beautiful plants including Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera), Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea), Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina), Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum), Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea) and just up the road at another two spots Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orchis italica), Ophrys Dyris, Atlas Orchid (Ophrys atlantica), Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii) and Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / O. forestieri).
|Atlas Orchid (Ophrys atlantica).|
Right up in the North of Malaga Province and on my local patch we have good sites for Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea), Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora), Orchis x brigittae, Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta) and Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana).
|Ophrys x chobautii.|
On my local patch there is a brilliant area of Oak Woodland and Grass Land where during the year there is a great show including Conical Orchid (Neotinea conica), Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera), Dense-flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata), Lizard Orchid (Himantoglosum hircinum), Lange's Orchid (Androrchis langei), Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera var ficalhoana), Southern Early Purple Orchid (Chupaeros / Androrchis Olbiensis), Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia), Pyramidal Orchid (Orquidea Pyramidal / Anacamptis pyramidalia) and Epipactis temolsii.
|Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia).|
In a valley not to far away from us Iberian Mirror Orchid (Ophrys vernixia) flowers in amonst the Oaks and there is another site for this very rare species in pine woods in Northern Malaga. As well as Small-tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora), Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora) and just up the road Orchis x gennarii.
In the Granada Mountains there are a mix of site with a good mix of species, most on the Northern slopes in the broad-leaved woods and on the Southern slopes of nearby hills, some of the interesting species here are the rare Orchis cazorlensis and the even rarer hybrid with Lange's Orchid (O x incantata), Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea), Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis), Fragrant Bug Orchid (Orchis coriophora subsp fragrans), Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata), Dark-red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens), Epipactis fageticola, Small-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis microphylla), both Violet Limodore (Limodorum abortivum) and Common Twayblade (Neottia ovata) can be found along with the beautiful Algerian Butterfly Orchids (plantanthera algeriensis).
|Algerian Butterfly Orchids (plantanthera algeriensis).|
Some later species locally are the very smart Burnt Orchid (Neotinea Ustulata) which grow in the Oak as do the Autumn Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) but somewhat later.
|Orchis x brigittae.|
Other species that I have seen down here in Andalucia include Algarve Bee Orchid (Ophrys algarviensis), Long-lipped Tounge Orchid (Serapias vomeracea), Tongue (Serapias lingua) and Heart-flowered Tongue Orchid (Serapias cordigera), Limodorum trabutianum, Lax-flowered Orchid (Orchis Laxiflora) and Sulphur Orchid (Dactylorhiza sulphurea).
|Monkey Orchid (Orchis simia).|
|Lady's Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium calceolus).|
|Military Orchid (Orchis militaris).|
Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), Pale-flowered Orchid (Orchis pallens), Military Orchid (Orchis militaris), Monkey Orchid (Orchis simia), Fly Orchid (Ophrys insectifera), Ophrys riojana, Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula), Frog Orchid (Dactylorhiza viride), Lesser Butterfly (Platanthera bifolia) and Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha), Green-winged Orchid (Androrchis morio) and White Helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium). There are still quite a few still to find as well.