Black bee orchid (Ophrys fusca)

Orchids are one of the most curious and elegant plants in the world. Although the vast majority of species live in tropical forests, the reality is that there are some that we can find in temperate regions. One of them is the Ophrys fusca.

It is not a plant that is widely cultivated as an ornamental, but not because it is not, but because its multiplication in cultivation is not easy, and it must also be borne in mind that it is prohibited to extract specimens from their habitat. Even so, it is very interesting to meet her.

Where do you live?

Our protagonist, popularly known as the black bee orchid, dark beekeeper, little bee, nuns, nuns or fusca fly, is a bulbous plant native to the Mediterranean region. In Spain we find it in the east of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as in the Balearic archipelago.

Its natural habitat is forests, olive groves, scrublands and meadows, where it grows as a land plant reaching a height of about 40 centimeters.

What are the characteristics of Ophrys fusca ?

This is an orchid that towards the end of the summer develops a rosette of lanceolate leaves, green in color and entire margins, as well as a new tuber that will finish maturing over the next spring as the old one dies.

The flower stalk sprouts in spring, even in late winter if the weather is mild enough, and its flowers are composed of a large hairy labellum, dark brown from the middle to the outside that mimics the abdomen of a bee.

Like many species of Ophrys, it establishes a symbiotic relationship with a fungus, which allows it to obtain food and grow. It is for this reason that it does not pass transplants, and why its cultivation is so complicated.

Did you know this orchid?

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