Andalusia’s Wild Orchids

Andalusia's Wild Orchids

Andalusia’s Wild Orchids

Rise your hand how many of you can blow your own trumpet about an orchid field behind the house…I am one of the lucky one I suppose.  Now, when spring is crawling slowly but surely around us, the colorful flowers of spring are blooming, including the Andalusia’s Wild Orchids. Specialists, who I suppose know better, say there are around seventy different wild orchids native to our region. These stunning flowers come in an infinite variety of shapes and colors and some are more common then others. Some are multi headed, some single flowered but the common thing they have in common is the loveliness and beauty. Many species are very showy and easy to spot, while others are very discreet and easily overlooked.  Best months for orchid blooming in our area would be April, May and early June, however if you know where to look for, there are orchid species which bloom from  December to September. Personally, I consider orchids the most elegant, fascinating and smart flowers. For a plant to show such a seductive flower that impersonate a female insect so convincingly that male insects come along and try and mate with it seems utterly science fiction. The next orchids, live and  were photographed behind our house. 

Wild Orchids of Andalusia

Ophrys Lutea

Also known as Yellow Bee, the flower resembles the back of a bee (what else?) and can reach maximum 30 cm height. This orchid is one of the most common and widespread in the Mediterranean region. I took this picture (like all the others) behind our propriety. Can you spot the intruder?

Wild Orchids of Andalusia

Ophrys Tenthredinifera

To me, this beautiful Sawfly Orchid (as popular known) looks like a laughing face. Because this orchid is one of the first to bloom around here, the one in the picture is a little bit passed, but still beautiful to look at. It is known that each species of orchid  depends of one particular insect to get pollinated. This is why this flower looks like a “sexy” female sawfly. No surprise a male fly seduced by the irresistible  looks and smell of  pheromones would try to mate with the beautiful flower. (Should we talk about male intelligence now, or later? ). Fortunately for his trouble, he gets just his body dusted with pollen to be taken out to the next orchid in disguise.  

Wild Orchids of Andalusia

Ophrys Speculum

Also known as the Mirror Orchid this  little plant is very easily overlooked. It is pollinated by a wasp and the striking beautiful blue lip appears to mimic the reflection of the sky on the female wasp’s wings. Brilliant! This way the male wasp, totally in love, gets attracted and “mates” with the smart and beautiful plant.

Wild Orchids of Andalusia

Ophrys Papilionaceous

The Butterfly Orchid is the most common orchid found around where we live. Because is quite large and so colorful can be easily spotted and admired.

Andalusia's Wild Orchids

Andalusia’s Wild Orchids

As you probably expect, the Andalusia’s Wild Orchids live in a fragile habitat and are strictly protected in all natural parks and not only. So today, thankfully to our super smart, super expensive cameras and lenses,  we can take these beauties at home with us and admire from our super comfortable chairs on our super large computer screens. Please do so, I guarantee  they will stay fresh and beautiful for many years to come. Mine did, just look at them! 

If you want to see more photos of Andalusia’s Wild Orchids

here

 

2 Responses to “Andalusia’s Wild Orchids

  • Hello!, You write “The Butterfly Orchid is the most common orchid found around where we live”. We are, me and my wife, fotogaphers of plants. Maybe You can tell us where we can take fotos of orquidea mariposa? We know now one site in Trujillo and we have some hints about this in Grazalema.

    We will visit Andalucia and Extremadura within 3 weeks.

    regards
    Juhani Piekkala
    Finland

    • Hi Juhani, You chose a beautiful time to travel here in Andalusia. Personally I live near Malaga Mountains in a small village called Casabermeja. There is a famous tower near named “Torre Zambra”. There I saw some of these beautiful flowers. Sometimes it is not easy to spot orchids (as you may now) but because these are big and quite a few around, you shouldn’t have a problem spotting them. Never less to say, if you don’t find them, it is worth a trip at this tower, because from there you can admire some great views of Malaga and surroundings. http://www.andaluciamylove.com/zambra-tower-torre-zambra/ Ah, almost forgot! A GREAT place to find and photograph orchids and other local plants is EL TORCAL, near Antequera. It is an absolutely fantastic and amazing place and I guarantee you are going to love it. Just wear comfortable shoes! Have fun and enjoy your vacation.

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