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The description of Ophrys virescens has been done already in 1859 by GRENIER. Afterwards the species turned out in oblivion, for a long time the corresponding orchids were called Ophrys araneola. DELFORGE and VIGLIONE (2001) in Natural.belges 82 (Orchid.14): 119-129 "digged out" Ophrys virescens again. Ophrys virescens seems to occur near the whole French coastal range at the Mediterranean sea. The distribution sketch in the book of Remy Souche (2004) lacks the occurrences in the departements Pyrènèes-Orientales and Aude. Rarely there are also Ophrys virescens with white or pink sepals. The pollinating insect seems not to be known yet.

Differences to Ophrys araneola are: Ophrys virescens has often stronger foliage, from this characteristic it got its name. The sepals of Ophrys virescens are about as long as the labellum, so that the proportions of its bloom are looking "normal" in photos, while the sepals of Ophrys araneola are often essentially longer, mainly the middle sepal, so that its labellum appears unproportionally small in photos. The edge of the labellum of Ophrys virescens usually shows less pilosity than that of Ophrys araneola. The labellum is about of the size as of Ophrys araneola, but has the dark colour of Ophrys passionis. If Ophrys passionis is also available at the site, the time of flower can give a hint: Ophrys araneola is usually in flower before, Ophrys virescens usually after Ophrys passionis. In withered state Ophrys virescens can for about a further month be recognized at its pale greenish yellow sepals, which close around the labellum, while withered Ophrys araneola soon become brown like many other Ophrys species. I took these details on the differences between Ophrys virescens and the next related Ophrys species over from some threads of Yahoo group 'apiferafr', a French spoken forum on European orchids, where they were written by several Southern French orchid enthusiasts in November 2002 and July 2004. Partly I can confirm it from my own experience.


Ophrys virescens
F Corbières 20.5.03

Ophrys virescens
left:   F Corbières 8.5.00
right: F Corbières 3.5.02

 

Ophrys virescens
F Massif de l'Estaque 30.4.05

Ophrys virescens
left:   F Causse Noir 25.5.02
right: F Toulon 29.4.02

Ophrys virescens
F Toulon 29.4.02

  
 
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