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


O. flavomarginata was first described from Nicosia, Cyprus in 1929 and takes its name from the distinctive yellow margin of the lip.

This is a member of the nine strong O. umbilicata grouping, endemic to the island of Cyprus although it has been reported further east (but extremely rarely) in Israel. In Cyprus (including the Turkish controlled area of northern Cyprus) it often grows alongside four other of its fellow group members, O.umbilicata itself, O. astarte, O. bucephala (once thought to be restricted to the Aegean basin) and another Cypriot endemic O. kotschyi. It is distributed widely if somewhat locally around the island and is relatively common.

There are features of O. flavomarginata which can easily be mistaken for some of the above named species, it does however exhibit several key characteristics which can be readily recognized and which serve to distinguish it. The species has large flowers, these being half as big again as those of O. astarte, O. kotschyi or O. umbilicata. The lip is usually tightly recurved but may rarely remain flared in a way that gives it the appearance of a fuciflorid species. It invariably displays a usually broad yellow (sometimes orange) marginal band, though this can often be obscured by the strong recurvation. The specular pattern is bold and variable, usually occupying the full length of the labellum and sitting above a huge and unmistakable appendix. The final and perhaps most significant distinguishing features are  the lateral lobes which are quite short but extremely hirsute.

The pictures all come from the south of Cyprus, dating from the first week of March.