Anacamptis collina - Fan-lipped Orchid

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Liliopsida - Order: Orchidales - Family: Orchidaceae

Anacamptis collina, Fan-lipped Orchid

Picture by kind permission of Anne Horsfall

The beautifully-marked flowers on this orchid, previously better known as Orchis saccata, can vary from greenish-white to dark pink-to-purple. The name saccata refers to the sac-shaped spur, which can be either white or pink.

Closeup of Anacamptis collina, Fan-lipped Orchid

This plant grows in full sunlight on dry alkaline grassland, in garrigue, and on the edges of woodland - frequently close to the coast. It can reach a height of 40cm and has two successive waves of flowering, starting in January and February with the main flowering season beginning in March and continuing through to April. The later flowering plants are more robust than the earlier ones.

The Fan-lipped Orchid is most common and numerous in Crete at altitudes of between 400 and 800m above sea level; the specimen shown on this page was photographed in Crete.


The genus name Anacamptis comes from the Greek anakampto, meaning 'bent back'; it refers to the shape of the flower spur. The specific epithet collina comes from Latin and means 'hills'. The implication is that the Fan-lipped Orchid mainly grows in hilly areas.

Please Help Us: If you have found this information interesting and useful, please consider helping to keep First Nature online by making a small donation towards the web hosting and internet costs.

Any donations over and above the essential running costs will help support the conservation work of Plantlife, the Rivers Trust and charitable botanic gardens - as do author royalties and publisher proceeds from books by Pat and Sue.

© 1995 - 2022 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy