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Serapias perez-chiscanoi

S. perez-chiscanoi was first described by Acedo from Badajoz, Spain in 1990 and is named after J. L. Perez-Chiscano, a contemporary Spanish botanist.

This species is endemic to the Extremadura of Spain and the neighbouring districts of Portugal where in both regions it is extremely localised and rare.  This situation seems unlikely to improve as more and more of its restricted wetland habitat is turned over to intensive agriculture.

S. perez-chiscanoi is not a species that is likely to be confused with any other Serapias except perhaps the occasional hypochromatic S. vomeracea. (the plant from which it is thought S. perez-chiscamoi originally developed).  It differs from this species in its lesser dimensions, with both  the plant and the flower itself being noticeably smaller. The flower also tends to have a heart-shaped epichile rather more akin to that of S. cordigera than the narrower lip of S. vomeracea.
S. perez-chiscanoi is a distinctive species which does not show a great deal of variation other than in the degree of red streaking present in the bract, hood and lateral lobes of the hypochile. In extreme examples the plant can appear from a distance to be completely red whilst at the other end of the scale plants can be hypochromatic as in pictures 8 and 9. This is a rare species with a highly specialised habitat preference that calls for damp to wet conditions on a mildly acidic substrate. These conditions are found in the grasslands (dehesas) of Extremadura and are similar to the requirements of the newly described S. occidentalis though the two species are rarely found growing in close association.  

The photos are all from Extremadura, Spain and date from the first week of March.