Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Liliopsida - Order: Orchidales - Family: Orchidaceae
Anacamptis sancta is extremely rare and localised within its range.
The Holy orchid flowers are reminiscent of those of the Bug Orchid Anacamptis coriophora, but they are much larger and more variable in colour. The lip of the flower is unspotted, and by the time the flowers open the basal leaves of the plant have died back almost completely.
The colour of the flowers of Anacamptis sancta varies from pink to red. Picture Ray Tipper.
This rare orchid is an eastern Mediterranean species and is found in the Aegean Islands, Turkey and Cyprus.
The Holy Orchid favours dry and stony ground.
This orchid flowers in April and May.
The photograph shown on this page was taken in Lesvos.
The Plant List
Hans and Gisela Kretzschmar and Wolfgang Eccarius 2004 Orchids Crete and Dodacanese, Mediterraneo Editions
Pierre Delforge (2005) Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East; A&C Black
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...