Stevejm2009's picture

Greater Butterfly Orchid

Observed: 15th May 2011 By: Stevejm2009Stevejm2009’s reputation in Plants
Greater Butterfly Orchid.jpg
Species interactions

No interactions present.


Chris Metherell's picture

Butterfly Orchids

The key difference between P. bifolia and P. chlorantha is the position of the pollinia - the mass of pollen grains inside the flower. In P. bifolia they are more or less parallel and close together. In P. chlorantha the bases of the polinia are well-separated. This really is almost the only way to tell them apart. I have seen quite small, rather dainty specimens which I thought were probably P. bifolia until I examined the flowers and found that I was wrong and vice versa. They are in fact extremely close genetically. I think it's possible to see on this photo that the pollinia are wide apart making it P. chlorantha. But a clear close up of the flower would make certain.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland