Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Liliopsida - Order: Orchidales - Family: Orchidaceae
This orchid has recently been moved from the genus Orchis to the genus Anacamptis.
Bug Orchid plants can grow up to 60 cm in height with dense heads of deep wine-red flowers; they have dark red spots on the lips, which are much paler in the centre. The common name of this orchid apparently refers to the somewhat unpleasant smell of the flowers.
Anacamptis coriophora occurs in the Balkans and throughout much of central and southern Europe. This orchid can be found in the Algarve (Portugal), Bulgaria, Greece, Russia, Romania, Germany and several other central European countries including Slovenia,
The Bug orchid grows in damp meadows and other fairly wet places in full sunshine. It is now rather rare and localised and is in serious decline due to habitat destruction.
Depending on location the flowering time ranges from early May to early July.
The specimen shown here was photographed in the foothills of the Rhodopi Mountains in Bulgaria in mid June.
The genus name Anacamptis comes from the Greek anakampto, meaning 'bent back'; it refers to the shape of the flower spur. The specific epithet coriophora also comes from Classical Greek and means 'carrying bugs' - a reference to the rather unpleasant odour of this otherwise very attractive orchid.
The Plant List
Sue Parker (2014) Wild Orchids of the Algarve; First Nature
Chris Thorogood and Simon Hiscock (2014) Field Guide to the Wildflowers of the Algarve; Kew Publishing
Pierre Delforge (2005) Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East; A&C Black
This page includes a picture kindly contributed by Anne Horsfall.
If you found this information helpful, we are sure you would also like books on the Wild Orchids of Wales, of The Burren, and of the Algarve. Author-signed copies are available here...