37. 10 years of orchid hunting in Eftalou: Lay Down, Lay Down’.

26 febr 10 018 Habitat: Eftalou, Old almond orchard Eftalou © Jan van Lent 26-02-2010 #018

Orchids in Eftalou 2004-2014:
Ophrys sicula TINEO, 1846.
Ophrys speculum LINK 1799.
Ophrys mammosa, DESFONTAINES 1807.
Ophrys phrygia, H. FLEISCHMANN & BORNMÜLLER 1923.
Anacamptis pyramidalis, (L.) L.M.C. RICHARD 1753.
Orchis sancta, LINNAEUS 1759.
Nowadays: Anacamptis sancta (L.) R.M. BATEMAN et al., 1997.
Orchis fragrans, POLLINI 1811.
Nowadays: Anacamptis coriophora  subsp. fragrans (Pollini) R.M. BATEMAN et al.,1997.
Orchis coriophora, LINNAEUS 1753.
Nowadays: Anacamptis coriophora (L.) R.M. BATEMAN et al.,1997.
Himantoglossum robertianum (LOISELEUR 1807) P. DELFORGE 2005.

Orchis italica POIRET 1798.
Orchis collina BANKS & SOLANDER ex RUSSEL 1798.
Nowadays: Anacamptis collina (BANKS & SOLANDER ex RUSSEL.) R.M. BATEMAN et al., 1997.
Ophrys mammosa DESFONTAINES 1807 hypochromy or hybrid with Ophrys sphegodes MILLER 1768?

New this year:
Ophrys iricolor DESFONTAINES 1807.
Ophrys (iricolor subsp.) mesaritica H.F. PAULUS & C.& A. ALIBERTIS 1990

17 mrt 14 013 BEW4 Oph.mesaritica, Eftalou

Ophrys (iricolor subsp.) mesaritica, Eftalou © Jan van Lent 17-03-14 #013

HABITATIt was a very big surprise this spring when I discovered that 2 of the 8 rosettes I found between the thyme-bushes on the far west end of Eftalou in February, appeared to be Ophrys iricolor and its ‘daughter’ Ophrys iricolor subspecies mesaritica. Those two Ophrys had never appeared in Eftalou; the most northerly habitat on Lesvos where I knew they flowered was at the ‘Larisos’ corner on the road between the Gulf of Gera and Moria. And now I also know that the remaining rosettes are just very big Orchis sancta and one new Ophrys phrygia

Every year in February or March the first Orchids appear in the phrygana (phrygana: an open dwarf scrub vegetation dominated by low, often cushion-shaped, spiny shrubs) and in the abandoned olive groves in Eftalou. Eftalou is situated a little bit to the east of the medieval village of Molivos, in the North of Lesvos. This location (habitat) is in botanic and orchidology terms unique in the North of Lesvos because of the abundance and diversity of the plants, herbs and orchid species which grow there. This has maybe to do with the existence of a small pine forest in this phrygana and the abandoned olive groves (until last year also abandoned by sheep and goats), the ‘overflow’ by wind or birds of plant semen from Anatolia (Turkey, on a distance of a few miles), a mixture of chalk, marble, granite, slate etc. in the (sandy) soil and also maybe the earlier existence of an ancient womans’ monastery as a neighbour possibly with herb gardens and a cemetery.

It is also an undiscovered area in Orchid research. Until now I have discovered 12 different orchid species on this land and between February and June there are hundreds of orchids flowering. That is unique because all orchidologists came to the conclusion that the north of Lesvos was uninteresting for orchids, with maybe only 3 different species which could grow there… So today, at the end of the 2014 orchid season, here are photographs of all 12 taxa, complete with the habitats where they grow and in flowering order.

H.robertianum & Oph.sicula, Eftalou-2 86,62x36,66

FEBRUARY: Himantoglossum robertianum & Ophrys sicula © Jan van Lent 2004-2014.

Ophrys iricolor & mesaritica, Eftalou

MARCH: Ophrys iricolor & Ophrys iricolor subsp. mesaritica © Jan van Lent 12-03-2014.

Ophrys speculum & mammosa, Eftalou-3 86,62x36,66

MARCH – APRIL: Ophrys speculum & Ophrys mammosa © Jan van Lent 2004-2014.

Orchis collina & Oph.umbilicata, Eftalou

MARCH – APRIL: Orchis collina & Ophrys umbilicata © Jan van Lent 2004-2014.

Ophrys phrygia & A.pyramidalis, Eftalou-5 86,62x36,66

MAY: Ophrys phrygia Anacamptis pyramidalis © Jan van Lent, Eftalou 2004-2014.

Orchis sancta & Orchis fragrans-kallithea, Eftalou

MAY: Anacamptis (Orchissancta & O. fragrans x sancta  =  Anacamptis (Orchis) kallitheaAnacamptis (Orchis) fragrans © Jan van Lent, Eftalou 2004-2014.

12 mrt 14 095

Ophrys iricolor, Eftalou © Jan van Lent 12-03-2014 #095

BOTTOM-LINE: Sometimes I get the feeling that we orchid lovers and orchidologists would do better to lay down on our backs on the sunny beaches instead of on our stomachs in the fields between the snakes, the spiders and the thorny bushes and wait until BATEMAN, PRIDGEON & CHASE or in shorthand ‘BPC 1997*’ have taken DNA from ‘all’ orchids and renamed them ‘all’. And there are a lot of ‘et al.’ these days…

Jan van Lent, Lesvos, 20-06-2014

‘Lay Down’: Melanie et al., (the Edwin Hawkins Singers) for an ‘enthusiastic’ Dutch audience in 1970… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOExGVgQzRg

8 jan 04 022 Eftalou met sneeuw

Snow in Eftalou © Jan van Lent 8-01-2004.

*BPC 1997 stands for ‘genes approved and authorized’ by: BATEMAN, PRIDGEON & CHASE 1997’. I made this acronym because otherwise visitors to my blog get the impression that those three gentlemen are the authors of almost all Orchis but they ‘just’ changed the Genera and rendered those Orchids from Orchis into Anacamptis.