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A picture of a Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

Ophrys apifera

Also known as

Bee Flower

Ophrys apifera (autopollination) by Hans Hillewaert (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Partial Shade
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

H6

RHS hardiness

-20°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

50cm

Max

10cm

10cm

Min

1cm

3 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Bee Orchid

A close up of a Ophrys apifera bee orchid flower in the wild in some grass
A close up of some Ophrys apifera bee orchid flowers in the wild in some grass
A photo of Bee Orchid
A photo of Bee Orchid
A photo of Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid Overview

Ophrys apifera is a tuberous, perennial orchid species in the Orchidaceae family, native to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It has a simple, basal rosette of leaves and a flowering stalk carrying between 2 and 12 flowers, the lower part of which resembles a foraging insect. Flowers are around 2.5cm wide, pale green, brown and pink in colour, with yellow, bee-like markings. These appear from spring-summer and measure approximately 30cm in height. Commonly known as bee-orchids, they reproduce by pseudocopulation; tricking male insects into collecting and distributing pollen by mimicking the scent and appearance of female insects.

Common problems with Bee Orchid

How to propagate Bee Orchid

Division

Offsets may be seperated in autumn.

Tubers

Special features of Bee Orchid

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Other uses of Bee Orchid

Wildflower/meadow