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Orchids

Lizard orchid, Himantoglossum hircinum

 

 

Family - ORCHIDACEAE

Genus - Himantoglossum

Species - hircinum

Common English name -

Lizard orchid

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.

himantoglossum_hircinum_flowers

The orchid's common names refer to the resemblance to lizard's tongues darting out to catch insects.

lizard_orchid_flower_detail_picos

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.

lizard_orchids_picos_de_europa

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.

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All text and images unless otherwise credited Copyright ©The Picos de Europa S.C. 2010
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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