Ophrys apifera var. trollii - Wasp Orchid

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

Wasp Orchid, Ophrys apifera var, trollii

Picture by kind permission of Anne Horsfall

This strange variant of the Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera has a rather pointed lip which is greenish yellow and mottled with brown markings. It puts in an occasional appearance throughout the range of the Bee Orchid, and plants with pale, almost white sepals also occur from time to time.

There are more examples of the Wasp Orchid on our Bee Orchid page...

Flowering times

This orchid flowers from April to May, and the specimen shown on this page was photographed in Cyprus.


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 apifera means 'bearing bees', a reference to the bee-like appearance of the flowers, while the variety name trollii honours the German botanist Wilhelm Troll (1897 - 1978).

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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