Fly Orchid – Ophrys insectifera
Ophrys standing near genera Serapia, Orchis, Himantoglossum and Ophrys is most common in Mediterranean countries. Species in the genus Ophrys are from the Canary Islands, around the Mediterranean Sea, Caspian Sea and North to Scandinavia. The genus has also major variables within each species, readily form hybrids and it has long been acting constantly naming new subspecies and varieties.
In Sweden Svante Malmgren specializes in breed and raise orchids from seeds. He says that you can raise Ophrys with large floral variety from a single, self-pollinating plant, and that this is only individual variations and not different subspecies. In the book “Ophrys, The Bee Orchids of Europe”, the two Danes Henrik Ærenlund Pedersen and Nils Faurholdt date information about the genus Ophrys, and according to the book, there are in Europe 19 species in the genus. Norway has only one species.
Fly Orchid has an eastern range, and Fly Orchid is rare in Norway. It is found in Ostfold (Fredrikstad), Ringerike, Eiker, Kongsberg (up to 340 m.) and West to Kragerø. We find Fly Orchid again north of Nord-Trondelag to Bodo in Nordland. The species is lime-consuming and can be found in pine forests, meadows, lime rock and sometimes on the marsh. Fly Blom can be up to 30 cm high and has two round tubers. Stems are straight with a distinctive blue-green and tongue shaped leaves at the bottom of the stem. The plant has a few flowers, rarely up to eight and these look like small wasps that are arranged alternately on the stem. The outer petals are green while the inner petals are brown-violet. The lip is dark brown with a square patch that can be strong blue without render at their head. Flower Colours and intensity of the colours are somewhat varying.
Fly Orchid – Ophrys insectifera – is protected by the Nature Diversity Act and considered as near threatened on the Norwegian Red List.