New orchid for Greece found on Lesvos

Paul Manning (Wildlife of Lesvos), the man for all things orchid-related on Lesvos, has just been in touch to say:

"Steve, you wont believe this, but a new species of orchid has been found on the island!

In mid-June, following directions from myself [Paul Manning] for the extremely rare Kompers / mounts-tauri hybrid orchid I found on Lesvos in the spring (of which only two are known to exist), Greek helleborine expert Spyridon Tsiftsis has discovered Persian Helleborine Epipactis persica growing nearby in a localised colony.

The very beautiful Persian helleborine is known to grow very rarely and locally over a substantial area from Anatolia to the Himalayas. However, this is the first confirmed site in Greece (let alone Lesvos) and may represent the only site for Western Europe.

Lesvos - not only a great place for birds, but fantastic for orchids too!"

Photo: Persian Helleborine Epipactis persica, Lesvos, June 2010 © Spyridon Tsiftsis