Ophrys bombyliflora is a plant of the family Orchidaceae that is found in Europe to Africa.
Plant is found growning on the forest floor in Mediterranean Europe and North Africa at elevations of sealevel to 900 meters.
Plant blooms in the late winter to early spring with one to three 2.5 cm flowers.The flowers that look and smell so much like female Bumble Bees that males flying nearby are irresistibly drawn in by this chemical signal, stimulating them sexually. The insect gets so excited that he starts to copulate with the flower.
This is termed pseudocopulation. The firmness, the smoothness and the velvety hairs of the lip are a further incentive for the insect to enter the flower. The pollinia inadvertently stick to the head or the abdomen of the male bumblebee. On visiting another orchid of the same species, the bumblebee pollinates its sticky stigma with the pollinia. The filaments of the pollinia have, during transport, taken such a position that the waxy pollen are able to stick to the stigma. Such is the refinement of the reproduction. If the filaments hadn’t taken the new position, the pollinia could not have pollinated the new orchid.
Plants prefer well-drained low-fertility soils and areas with partial shade. Plants are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides and transplanting because it kills symbiotic fungus. The plant is usually propagated through seed culture. This species is cool to intermediate growing. Divide plant when flower fades.
Common name:The Silky Flowered Ophyrs, Bumblebee Orchid
- Arachnites bombyliflora Tod. 1842
- Ophrys bombylifera Willd. 1805
- Ophrys bombyliflora f. buccheriana De Langhe & D'hose 1985
- Ophrys canaliculata Viv. 1825
- Ophrys disthoma Biv.-Bern. 1813
- Ophrys hiulca Mauri ?
- Ophrys pulla Ten. 1820
- Ophrys tabanifera Willdenow 1805