Himantoglossum hircinum sensu stricto

Himantoglossum hircinum subsp. hircinum

Lizard orchid; Orchis bouc; Bocksriemenzunge

Widely spread across Europe from Great Britain eastwards to the Balkans and Hungary; western N Africa. Generally rare.

A robust orchid of grassy places, scrub, dunes and open woodland. The plant can attain a height of about 90 cm. The flowers are produced in quite large numbers in the spike; the middle lobe of the labellum is remarkably long and twisted giving the flower spike an untidy appearance.

Himantoglossum hircinum sensu stricto is one of a complex of similar plants. The boundaries between the taxa within the Himantoglossum hircinum aggregate are not always clear.

Photographs: Turriers, Alpes de Haute Provence, France 2008
© Elaine Groom

Click photographs for larger images.

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© National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, 2008