Orchidaceae

How orchids lure pollinating insects - Ophrys holoserica

"In the 16th and 17th centuries, wealthy people wore perfumes to mask their nasty body odours. In nature too, some organisms produce smells to disguise their true nature and deceive others. When it comes to lying with scent, orchids are the world champions.
Across Europe, Australia, Africa and South America, orchids have independently evolved ways to manufacture irresistible bouquets. Many of these smells mimic the sex pheromones – otherwise known as aphrodisiacs – of insects.
Orchids release a perfume that mimics a fertile female insect, luring in male insects. Overcome by the sexy female scent, the males are duped into attempting to mate with the flower. During their futile attempts at copulation, they pick up a gobbet of pollen, so that when they visit another flower they will pollinate it.
And what do the male insects get in exchange for their labours? Absolutely nothing."
Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150202-three-ways-orchids-trick-insects

Image below: Ophrys holoserica, Bumble-bee Orchid, Hummel-Ragwurz. Location, Saarland area, Germany in May 2016.





Ophrys holoserica Hummel-Ragwurz_
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Orchid variety - Saarland area

Last weekend I had a chance to capture different orchids inside the nature reserve „Wolferskopf“.
Uta, a friend and homeopathic colleague, grew up in the area. She was guiding me through the meadows which were full of orchids at this time of the year.
Almost half of all types of orchids that occur in Germany can be found on the vast limestone semi-dry grasslands.

We were even lucky with the weather, as there was a lot of thunder and rain in the air.



Anacamptis pyramidalis Pyramiden-Hundswurz-2

Image above: Anacamptis pyramidalis - Pyramidal Orchid - Pyramiden Hundswurz

Orchis purpurea Purpur-Knabenkraut-3

Orchis purpurea Purpur-Knabenkraut-5

Images above: Orchis purpurea - Lady orchid - Purpur-Knabenkraut

Cephalanthera damasonium Weißes Waldvöglein

Image above: Cephalanthera damasonium - White Helleborine - Weißes Waldvöglein

More orchids from different areas you can find in my orchid collection:
Orchidaceae
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