John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe

Home   The genus Habenaria              

     Origin: Habenaria, literally means "three fingered", a reference to the shape of the lip.                                                                                                                     

The species:-

H. tridactylites  

This genus is largely a pantropical cllection of some 600 species of which only one is represented in Europe.

H. tridactylities is a rare orchid endemic to the Canary Islands, predominantly on the western side of the archipelago where it is considered to be a survivor of an old Atlantic flora. It's primary habitat is amongst the scrub layer of Laurel forests which are fast disappearing and as a consequence contributing to the decline of this species.

The typical characteristics of this genus include 1. a pair of tapering tubers. 2. the three strap like lobes that divide the lip. 3. a hood formed by the dorsal sepal and petals. 4. a pair of large oval basal leaves. 5. generally greenish flowers. 6. a spur is present. 7. spreading lateral sepals