Family - ORCHIDACEAE
Genus - Himantoglossum
Species - hircinum
Common English name -
Common Spanish name -
Orquídea del lagarto, Satirión barbado
Flowering time -
April - July
This is the tallest of the orchids growing around the Picos de Europa, rare specimens reaching 90cm plus. The flowers bear a distinctive, extremely long, twirling labellum making it look as if the plant is blowing party poppers.
The orchid's common names refer to the resemblance to lizard's tongues darting out to catch insects.
The relatively small and pale green sepals and petals form a cap for the lip which has shorter lateral lobes resembling arms while the markings in the centre can look like a face.
The large basal leaves wither quickly once the plant has produced the huge flower head. Lizard orchids are mostly found in the Picos growing on their preferred habitats of roadside and mountain track verges.