Sombre Bee Orchid
Ophrys fusca Fr: Ophrys fusca
This perennial orchid can grow as high as 40 cm, with from 2 to 8 flowers on a single stem. The ones we found were mostly from 10 to 16 cm, in open woods near the village of Villecroze in the department of the Var.
Tall. Low - Short
Flower. 3 pale green petals, with two yellow spurs inside the "hood" petal; a pair of narrow brownish "antler" petals. The lip is 3-lobed with the central part notched; the pattern is a very dark brown lower part, bordered by a thin yellowish line; the upper part is a paler gray-brown with a "W" shaped boundary.
Leaves. 4 to 6 pointed-oval leaves with dark longitudinal veins, 35 mm long, 20 mm wide. 3 or 4 form a basal rosette; the others clasp the stem.
Habitat. We found a large colony of these in an open pine forest, along with rosemary and spurge.