John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Ophrys bicornis

The exact status of this Ophrys is the subject of professional disagreement, within Greece it's regarded as a full species whereas outside of that country and in many reference books it is accorded only varietal status. Delforge  describes it as the latter whilst acknowledging the possibility of its potential for promotion.

O. bicornis is a member of the large and often difficult to differentiate O. oestrifera group and has a range which takes it from Hungary down to the northern Balkans and as far as Attica and the more northerly Aegean islands. Its distribution overlaps with that of several other similar group members and natural variation together with frequent hybridisation makes identification a far from straightforward process. Mt Hymettus on the outskirts of Athens is an example of an orchid rich area where there has been widespread gene ingression from closely related species with the resultant formation of inseparable intermediate swarms. 

In genetically pure populations the key identification characteristic is the wide stigmatic cavity which can be up 60% of the width of the body. There is usually a pronounced ledge running horizontally between the two noticeable black pseudo-eyes. O. bicornis is very similar and closely related to O. leptomera but sepal colouration in the latter is usually green or green washed purple. Another similar species with which it can be confused is O. sepoides but this is a larger more rotund flower.The photos are from the Litochoro area to the east of Mt Olympus, northern Greece, dating from early May.