Orchids Wiki
Ophrys insectifera

Ophrys insectifera.jpg

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Orchideae
SubTribe: Orchidinae
Genus: Ophrys
Species: Ophrys insectifera
Alliance: Orchis
Binomial name
Ophrys insectifera
Linne 1753

Ophrys insectifera is a plant of the family Orchidaceae, a native of the British Isles and Europe favouring sites with alkaline soil.


Ophrys insectifera is found all over Europe except in Spain and Portugal, northern Russia and Bulgaria. The plant is found in grassy areas with alkaline soil at 200 to 1000 meters.


The plants use scent to attract male flies, which pollinate the flowers as they attempt to mate with the flower. The scent released by the flowers mimic female fly sexual pheromones. Plant grows in cool condition. Ophrys insectifera blooms from spring to summer with 2 to 14 flowers which are 3.75 cm in width. Plant grows in area with partial shade


Ophrys insectifera habitat.jpg

Plants prefer well-drained low-fertility soils and areas with partial shade. Plants are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides and transplanting because it kills symbiotic fungus. The plant is usually propagated through seed culture. This species is cool growing but not cold tolerant. Divide plant when flower fades.


Commonly called the Fly orchid. The name arises because it resembles a fly, being totally dependent on flies and bees for pollination. However this is fairly unsuccessful as they seldom visit the flower and it forms seed only infrequently.


Illustration of Ophrys insectifera

  1. Arachnites musciflora (Huds.) F.W.Schmidt 1793
  2. Epipactis myodes (Jacq.) F.W.Schmidt 1795
  3. Malaxis myodes (Jacq.) Bernh. 1800
  4. Ophrys insectifera f. apiculata (M.Schulze) Soó 1970 publ. 1971
  5. Ophrys insectifera f. bombifera (Bréb. ex Rchb.f.) Soó 1970 publ. 1971
  6. Ophrys insectifera f. dubia (Ruppert) Soó 1970 publ. 1971
  7. Ophrys insectifera f. longibracteata (Ruppert) Soó 1970 publ. 1971
  8. Ophrys insectifera f. parviflora (M.Schulze) Soó 1970 publ. 1971
  9. Ophrys insectifera f. rotundata (Ruppert) Soó 1970 publ. 1971
  10. Ophrys insectifera f. subbombifera (Ruppert) Soó 1970 publ. 1971
  11. Ophrys insectifera lus. ochroleuca (E.G.Camus) Soó 1970 publ. 1971
  12. Ophrys insectifera lus. virescens (Ruppert) Soó 1970 publ. 1971
  13. Ophrys insectifera lus. viridiflora (A.Camus) Soó 1970 publ. 1971
  14. Ophrys insectifera var. myodes L. 1753; Ophrys muscaria Scopoli ?
  15. Ophrys muscifera Hudson 1761
  16. Ophrys muscifera f. apiculata M.Schulze 1894
  17. Ophrys muscifera f. bombifera Bréb. ex Rchb.f. 1851
  18. Ophrys muscifera f. dubia Ruppert in W.Zimmerman 1912
  19. Ophrys muscifera f. longibracteata Ruppert 1924
  20. Ophrys muscifera f. ochroleuca E.G.Camus 1908
  21. Ophrys muscifera f. parviflora M.Schulze 1889
  22. Ophrys muscifera f. rotundata Ruppert 1912
  23. Ophrys muscifera f. subbombifera Ruppert 1924
  24. Ophrys muscifera f. virescens Ruppert 1928
  25. Ophrys muscifera f. viridiflora A.Camus 1929
  26. Ophrys myodes [L] Jacquin 1781
  27. Orchis insectifera (L.) Crantz 1769
  28. Orchis muscaria Scop. 1772
  29. Orchis muscifera (Huds.) Salisb. 1796
  30. Orchis musciflora Schrank 1789
  31. Orchis myodes (Jacq.) Bernhard 1800


Image Name Description
Ophrys insectifera red.jpg Ophrys insectifera variant Lip is magenta with white patch, sepals and petals are magenta
Ophrys insectifera aymoninii.jpg Ophrys insectifera ssp. aymoninii
Breistr. (1981)
Lip is magenta with blue patch and yellow edge, sepals and petals are magenta