'Ophrys tenthredinifera'

Ophrys tenthredinifera

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Orchideae
SubTribe: Orchidinae
Genus: Ophrys
Species: Ophrys tenthredinifera
Alliance: Orchis
Binomial name
Ophrys tenthredinifera
Willd (1805)

Ophrys tenthredinifera Willd. (1805) are monopodial and terrestrial orchids of the subtribe Orchidinae in the Orchidaceae family of the genus Ophrys. They are often called the Saw fly orchid.


Ophrys tenthredinifera is found in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece , Turkey, Northern Africa, and several Islands in the Mediterranean at elevations of 0 to 1200 meters. They are found in cool grassy areas with rocky acidic soil.


Plant blooms from winter to spring and can grow 3 to 8 flowers that are 2.5cm wide per an inflorescence. Plant is found in areas with partial shade. Plants rely on a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients. The flowers are pollinated by a male insect which is attracted when the flower release a similar scent to female pheremones.

The root is ediable and grinded into a powder called salep. Salep is very nutritious and is made into a drink or added to other cereals and used in bread. Tubers for creating salep should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed.


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 growing but not cold tolerant. Divide plant when flower fades.


Common name:The Leaf-Wasp Carrying Ophyrs, The Sawfly Orchid


  1. Ophrys tenthredinifera var. praecox Rchb.f. ex E.G.Camus, Bergon & A.Camus in ?.
  2. Ophrys insectifera var. rosea Desf., Fl. Atlant. 2: 320 (1799).
  3. Ophrys arachnites Link, J. Bot. (Schrader) 1(2): 325 (1800), nom. illeg.
  4. Ophrys villosa Desf., Ann. Mus. Hist. Nat. 10: 255 (1807).
  5. Ophrys grandiflora Ten., Cat. Hort. Neapol. 1813, App. 2: 83 (1819).
  6. Ophrys tenoreana Lindl., Bot. Reg. 13: t. 1093 (1827).
  7. Arachnites limbata Link, Handbuch 1: 247 (1829).
  8. Ophrys limbata Link, Handbuch 1: 247 (1829).
  9. Ophrys fusca Rchb., Icon. Fl. Germ. Helv. 13-14: 73 (1851), nom. illeg.
  10. Ophrys neglecta Parl., Fl. Ital. 3: 548 (1860).
  11. Ophrys rosea (Desf.) Duf., Bull. Soc. Bot. France 7: 170 (1860).
  12. Ophrys tabanifera Sieber ex Nyman, Consp. Fl. Eur.: 697 (1882).
  13. Ophrys ficalhoana J.A.Guim., Bol. Soc. Brot. 5: 38 (1887).
  14. Ophrys ficalhoana var. choffati J.A.Guim., Bol. Soc. Brot. 5: 39 (1887).
  15. Ophrys ficalhoana var. davei J.A.Guim., Bol. Soc. Brot. 5: 39 (1887).
  16. Ophrys tenthredinifera var. serotina J.A.Guim., Bol. Soc. Brot. 5: 38 (1887).
  17. Ophrys tenthredinifera var. lutescens Batt., Bull. Soc. Bot. France 51: 353 (1904).
  18. Ophrys di-stefani Lojac., Fl. Sicul. 3: 38 (1909).
  19. Ophrys hookeri Orph. ex Soó, Bot. Arch. 23: 25 (1928).
  20. Ophrys tenthredinifera subvar. choffati (J.A.Guim.) E.G.Camus in E.G.Camus & A.A.Camus, Iconogr. Orchid. Europe 1: 305 (1928).
  21. Ophrys tenthredinifera subvar. davei (J.A.Guim.) E.G.Camus in E.G.Camus & A.A.Camus, Iconogr. Orchid. Europe 1: 305 (1928).
  22. Ophrys tenthredinifera subvar. serotina (J.A.Guim.) E.G.Camus in E.G.Camus & A.A.Camus, Iconogr. Orchid. Europe 1: 305 (1928).
  23. Ophrys tetuanensis Pau, Monde Pl. 66: 1 (1929).
  24. Ophrys tenthredinifera f. lutescens (Batt.) Raynaud, Orchid. Maroc: 26 (1985).
  25. Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp. praecox D.Tyteca, Orchidophile (Argenteuil) 66: 810 (1985), nom. illeg.
  26. Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp. villosa (Desf.) H.Baumann & Künkele, Mitt. Arbeitskreis Heimische Orchid. Baden-Württemberg 18: 384 (1986).
  27. Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp. ficalhoana (J.A.Guim.) M.R.Lowe & D.Tyteca, J. Eur. Orch. 32: 297 (2000).
  28. Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp. guimaraesii D.Tyteca, J. Eur. Orch. 32: 297 (2000).
  29. Ophrys aprilia Devillers & Devillers-Tersch., J. Eur. Orchideen 35: 152 (2003).
  30. Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp. aprilia (Devillers & Devillers-Tersch.) Kreutz, Kompend. Eur. Orchid.: 118 (2004).
  31. Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp. grandiflora (Ten.) Kreutz, Kompend. Eur. Orchid.: 118 (2004).
  32. Ophrys tenthredinifera var. guimaraesii (D.Tyteca) Kreutz, Kompend. Eur. Orchid.: 118 (2004).


Ophrys tenthredinifera3 Ophrys tenthredinifera variant Pink petals and sepals
Ophrys tenthredinifera Mallorca 2 Ophrys tenthredinifera variant Magenta petals and sepals
Ophrys tenthredinifera4 Ophrys tenthredinifera variant Pink petals and sepals. Lip is red with 2 blue streaks and a yellow edge
Ophrys tenthredinifera Mallorca Ophrys tenthredinifera variant White petals and spehals. Green lip with a brown patch

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