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

This Ophrys was first described in 1928 from the island of Cephalonia and named after the Swiss botanist Gottfried Keller. It was originally regarded as simply a variety of O. ferrum-equinum  and on the Greek mainland is frequently to be found growing in close association with this species, though no specific relationship is recognized. In the Ionian islands however, O. gottfriediana exists in pure populations largely away from O. ferrum-equinum. Their true relationship is uncertain and quite how they should be separated is yet to be satisfactorily established.

The species is endemic to Greece and known with certainty from Cephalonia, Ithaca and Zante as well as the Epirus coast. Reports from outside these areas were initially thought to relate to isolated variants of O. ferrum-equinum, but it has now become accepted that O. gottfriediana has a broader distribution in the country than was first thought. The species is closely related to O.ferrum-equinum, though not always particularly similar, being chiefly distinguished by the strongly recurved lip margins which give the labellum a characteristically slender, heart shaped appearance. The species is local and usually occurs singly or in small numbers, though usually rather more numerous in the Ionian islands.

The pictures are from Cephalonia with the exception of the last, which is from Attica and may well be a case of O. ferrum-equinum mimicry. The penultimate photo depicts a lusus form of O. gottfriediana, barely recognizable as being of that species.