Ophrys fuciflora subsp. parvimaculata

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

Ophryus parvimaculata


The plant grows up to 40cm and each inforescence carries up to 7 large flowers. The petals and sepals are white or yellowish and the lip of the flower is rounded at the top and then somewhat tapered at the tip. The mirror is reduced in size and covers barely a quarter of the surface of the lip.


This orchid is endemic to the southeast of Italy (from Foggia to Lecce). It is rare and localised.


Although it grows in short grassland on alkaline substrates, unlike many of its close relatives that thrive in full sunshine, this orchid prefers a slightly more shady habitat. The best places to look are in light or open woodland, particularly if there are oak trees present.

Flowering times

Ophrys parvimaculata flowers during April and possibly into very early May depending on the seasonal temperatures.

This specimen on this page was photographed in open woodland close to Monte Sant'Angelo on the Gargano Peninsula in Italy in mid April.


The genus name Ophrys comes from Greek and means 'eyebrow' - a reference to the hairy fringe of the lip of the flower of many orchids in this genus. The specific epithet fuciflora comes from fucus, which may perhaps refer to a male honey bee, and flora, meaning flowers. The subspecies name parvimaculat refers to the small size of the speculum (mirror) marks on the lip of this orchid.

Reference sources

The Plant List

Henrik AErenlund Pedersen & Niels Faurholdt (2007) Ophrys - The Bee Orchids of Europe; Kew

Pierre Delforge (2005) Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East; A&C Black

Angela Rossini and Giovanni Quiadamo (2003) Orchidee Spontanee nel Parco Nazionale del Gargano; Centrografico Francescano

Claudio Del Fuoco (2003) Orchidee del Gargano

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...

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