John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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  Serapias elsae

S. elsae was first described by Delforge from  Extramedura, Portugal in 2004 and was named after his
daughter, Elsa. It is a member of the S. lingua group and although it appears to be intermediate between
S. lingua and S. strictiflora, it has become stabilized and clearly demonstrates a sufficient number of      individual   characteristics to justify species status.

It's distribution is not dissimilar to that of S. strictiflora, being found predominantly in central Portugal   and southern Spain. Given that S. lingua and S. parviflora are also widespread within this range, it is   inevitable that occasional hybridisation will occur, possibly involving all three taxons.The result of such   hybridisation is the production of swarms of non stabilized intermediates that exhibit various of the   characteristics from the different donor species.  Certain identification can therefore be difficult and a   further  complication is the potential creation of "lookalikes" whose combination of inherited features mimic, that of   true species. S. elsae is a frequently impersonated Serapias and although it obviously has a "type"   specification, in the field, variation can be considerable and misidentification common.

This is an unremarkable species that is slender and few flowered with bracts whose length generally exceeds  the hood. The epichile is longer and fuller than that of S. parviflora and unlike S. strictiflora, has a wavy   edge. The lateral lobes of the hypochile are usually red and the tongue itself a lighter, often orangy shade.

The picture are from Portugal and date from the 17th of April.