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This species is accepted, and its native range is N. Corse to Kriti.

[O-EM]
Distribution

The species appears on Corsica, in Italy, on the Balkan Peninsula, particularly southwards along the Adriatic Coast and to Crete. Former reports of the species being found on Sicily are erroneous.

Threats

Even though the area of Orchis pauciflora is not really big, it is actually not under any special threat; this is unlikely to change as long as there are no changes to pasturing of its biotopes. This does not exclude populations being impaired or destroyed by human influence, for example, by changes to, or expansion of infrastructure, or changes of utilisation and housing. These are specifically vulnerable by tourism activities and the associated fast expansion of hotels and their facilities.

Ecology

Sparse grasses, garrigues and amongst shrubs on dry stony ground are settled; here in particular, very rocky biotopes are colonised where the species can occur in strong populations. The species is bound to calcareous subsoil. They grow at altitudes that range from the coast at sea level, up to about 1,700 m.

Biology

Flowering time lasts from the end of March to the end of April. The fact that this plant is allogamous is proven by the appearance of hybrids with Orchis anatolica, Orchis mascula, Orchis olbiensis, Orchis provincialis, Orchis quadripunctata and Orchis sitiaca. Hybrids and probably hybrid swarms can occur with Orchis mascula and Orchis provincialis. Pollinators are unknown to date.

General Description

Orchis pauciflora is a geophyte that has two ovoid to ellipsoidal tubers during flowering time.
The plants grow up to a height of 10 to 20 cm (in special cases to 30 cm!) and have a rosette of 4-9 strongly green, unmottled, elongated oval leaves, 4-7cm long and 0.6-1.7 cm wide, that bend over backwards in a graceful curve, 2 - 3 further leaves vaginate the stalk. The bracts are membranous and they are with a length of 11-20 mm a little longer than the ovary.
The quite short, lax flower spike consists of up to 15 single blossoms, but as a rule there are normally considerably fewer, however, they look quite large on this small plant. The matched sepals thrust upwards and backwards, thus contributing to the impression of much larger flowers. These are 10-15 mm long and 6-10 mm wide, and by this they are clearly wider than the middle sepal. Together they form a helmet. The central lobe of the tri-lobed lip protrudes and shows a more intense yellow along its centre; this is covered by fine, brown to red-brown spots. These can be totally absent in exceptional cases. The side lobes that bend back are also a bright yellow.
The spur, at 14-25mm, is about one and a half times longer than the ovary. To begin with it is almost horizontal and the last third bends strongly upward. It is blunt at the tip and contains no nectar.

Native to:

Albania, Corse, Greece, Italy, Kriti, Yugoslavia

Orchis pauciflora Ten. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Fl. Napol. 1(Prodr.): LII (1812)

Accepted by

  • Dimopoulos, P., Raus, T., Bergmeier, E., Constantinidis, T., Iatrou, G., Kokkini, S., Strid, A., & Tzanoudakis, D. (2013). Vascular plants of Greece. An annotated checklist: 1-372. Botanic gardens and botanical museum Berlin-Dahlem, Berlin and Hellenic botanical society, Athens.
  • G.I.R.O.S. (2009). Orchidee d'Italia: 1-303. Il Castello srl, Italy.
  • Kretzschmar, H. ,Eccarius, W. & Dietrich, H. (2007). The Orchid Genera Anacamptis, Orchis and Neotinea. Phylogeny, taxonomy, morphology, biology, distribution, ecology and hybridisation, ed. 2: 1-544. EchinoMedia verlag, Bürgel.
  • Kühn, R., Pedersen, H.Æ. & Cribb, v (2019). Field Guide to the Orchids of Europe and the Mediterranean: 1-430. Kew Publishing, England.
  • Meyer, F.K. (2011). Beiträge zur Flora von Albanien Haussknechtia, Beih. 15: 1-220.

Not accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Cited as Orchis provincialis subsp. pauciflora.]

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Kretzschmar, H. ,Eccarius, W. & Dietrich, H. (2007). The Orchid Genera Anacamptis, Orchis and Neotinea. Phylogeny, taxonomy, morphology, biology, distribution, ecology and hybridisation, ed. 2: 1-544. EchinoMedia verlag, Bürgel.

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Orchideae: e-monocot.org
All Rights Reserved