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

O. macedonica was first described from Kozani (Greece) in 1929 and is a member of the large and ever expanding O. mammosa group of Ophrys. Its name refers to its discovery in the contentious region now identified as Greek Macedonia.

This is a difficult species that creates a good deal of disagreement amongst the experts, some accepting it to be an authentic species, whilst others regard it as an occasional, non stabilized hybrid. Its extreme variability in a region where Ophrys hybridization is commonplace (and inevitable given the sheer number of similar species), suggests the latter theory is well founded.

O. macedonica is typically a small flowered species with a dark purplish brown lip that is usually entire but sometimes vaguely three lobed. At one extreme of its variability it can exhibit small basal protuberances and a small heart shaped lip that closely resembles O. epirotica and at the other have prominent basal swellings,  with broad hairy shoulders akin to some of the fuciflorid species. The basal field is concolourous with the lip and the stigmatic cavity dark brown to black. The sepals can be a plain light green but are frequently more or less tinted purple as with other O. mammosa group representatives.  The plants depicted in in the second two rows, must be treated as unreliably identified but have proved impossible to confidently allocate to another taxon ? Any thoughts welcomed.

O. macedonica is a late flowerer and as with O. epirotica seldom appears before the beginning of May and can still be in bloom well into June. The pictures date from the second week of May and come primarily from the Kipi region of northern Greece.