Orchids on Lesvos


Lesvos is also well-known for its orchids. Below is a complete list of orchids found on the island. In my book, A Birdwatching Guide to Lesvos, there is also a checklist which includes local flowering periods for many of commoner species.

Photo above right:
Lesbos Orchid Orphrys lesbis, an island endemic, near Andissa, April 2009 © Steve Dudley

Paul Manning (Wildlife of Lesvos) has built an orchid site guide. He has annotated a map of the island to show key sites. This includes lists of species found at each site with some notes on flowering periods for rarer or sought-after species, and species' names within the site lists linked to his own photos on his online flickr album. Its a great resource and one I'm sure that anyone interested in orchids will want to use when on the island. The online Google Map is best viewed in map mode.

Highlighted names will link to individual species images on Paul Manning's Lesvos orchid flickr gallery. Note, some species have more than one photo so its worth looking at Paul's site in more detail.

Cephalanthera damasonium Large White Helleborine
Cephalanthera longifolia Sword-leaved Helleborine
Cephalanthera rubra Red Helleborine
Cephalanthera epipactoides Spurred Helleborine
Epipactis microphylla Small-leaved Helleborine
Epipactis turcica Turkish Helleborine
Epipactis helleborine Broad-leaved Helleborine
Epipactis densifolia Dense-leaved Helleborine
Epipactis persica Persian Helleborine
Limodorum abortivum Violet Limodore
Limodorum abortivum var. albiflorum Violet Limodore
Listera ovata Twayblade
Neotinea maculata Dense-flowered
Spiranthes spiralis Autumn Lady's Tresses
Platanthera holmboei Holmboë's Butterfly
Dactylorhiza romana Roman Orchid
Dactylorhiza romana var. albifora Roman Orchid
Serapias parviflora Small-flowered Orchid
Serapias vomeracea Plough-share Orchid
Serapias bergonii Loose-flowered Plough-share Orchid
Serapias cordigera Heart-flowered Orchid
Anacamptis pyramidalis Pyramidal Orchid
Orchis palustris Bog Orchid
Orchis laxiflora Loose-flowered Orchid
Orchis morio ssp. morio Green-winged Orchid
Orchis morio ssp. picta Green-winged Orchid
Orchis papilionacea ssp. heroica Pink Butterfly Orchid
Orchis collina Fan-lipped Orchid
Orchis collina var. albiflora Fan-lipped Orchid
Orchis coriophora Bug Orchid
Orchis fragrance Fragrant Orchid
Orchis sancta Holy Orchid
Orchis sancta var. alba
Orchis quadripunctata Four-spotted Orchid
Orchis anatolica? Anatolian Orchid
Orchis pinetorum? Pinewood Orchid
Orchis provincialis Provence Orchid
Aceras (Orchis) anthropophorum Man Orchid
Orchis simia Monkey Orchid
Orchis purpurea? Lady Orchid
Orchis italica Naked Man Orchid
Orchis italica var. albiflora Naked Man Orchid
Orchis lactea Milky Orchid
Orchis tridentata Toothed Orchid
Himantoglossum affine Eastern Lizard Orchid
Himantoglossum caprinum Balkan Lizard Orchid
Himantoglossum verae Vera's Elegant Orchid
Ophrys iricolor Rainbow Orchid
Ophrys cinerephila Dull Orchid
Ophrys leucadica Dull Orchid
Ophrys attaviria
Ophrys phryganae Yellow Orchid
Ophrys sicula Yellow Orchid
Ophrys tenthredinifera ssp. leochroma Sawfly Orchid
Ophrys villosa Sawfly Orchid
Ophrys bombyliflora? Bumble Bee Orchid
Ophrys apifera Bee Orchid
Ophrys dodekanensis Woodcock Orchid
Ophrys minutula Elizabeth's Small-flowered Orchid
Ophrys orphanidea Woodcock Orchid
Ophrys homeri Homer's Orchid
Ophrys attica Carmel Orchid
Ophrys bucephala Carmel Orchid
Ophrys umbilicata Carmel Orchid
Ophrys reinholdii Reinhold's Orchid
Ophrys lesbis Lesbos Orchid (endemic)
Ophrys ferrum-equinum Horseshoe Orchid
Ophrys labiosa Horseshoe Orchid
Ophrys mammosa Mammosa Orchid
Ophrys spruneri? Spruner's Orchid

The following species may exist on the island, but great care is needed in their identification:
Orchis palustris ssp. pseudolaxiflora Bog Orchid
Orchis palustris ssp. dinsmorei Bog Orchid
Ophrys mesaritica
Ophrys parosica
Ophrys blitopertha
Ophrys persephonae
Ophrys sitiaca
Ophrys candica Kandia's Orchid
Ophrys halia Late Spider Orchid
Ophrys helios Late Spider Orchid
Ophrys heterochila Late Spider Orchid
Ophrys phrygia Woodcock Orchid
Ophrys calypsus

A downloadable version of the above list with flowering periods available here.

The above list was prepared by Paul Manning (Wildlife of Lesvos) and constructed using:
Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East by Pierre Delforge
The Bee Orchids of Greece by Zissis Antonopoulos
Field Guide to Orchids of Britain and Europe by Karl Peter Buttler
Orchids of Lesvos by Y.A. Karatzas & A. Karatza
Orchids of Lesvos by Brian & Eileen Anderson

Photo right: Limodorum abortivum, Achladeri, April 2004 © Steve Dudley

Many species can be found around Agiasos. For further information see here.

My thanks to
Paul Manning for his help in compiling the above list, the orchid info in my book, and for developing his excellent orchid site guide. See Paul's excellent Wildlife of Lesvos website which contains photo galleries including many orchids.

Orchids of Lesvos by Brian and Eileen Anderson (left) is available and although in Greek is useful.