This is one of the earliest bee orchids to flower. The flowers and the scent of bee orchids mimic particular female insects so perfectly that male insects attempt to mate with the flowers and, in so doing, pollinate them.
Ophrys means ‘eyebrow’, referring to the velvety hairy lip and arachnitiformis comes from Latin ‘arachnis en formis’, meaning ‘in the form of a spider’. It is thought that it might be a hybrid, resulting from a cross between Ophrys fuciflora and Ophrys sphegodes.
In the summer, Ophrys orchids are dormant. The two underground tubers serve as food reserves, one tuber for the present year and one for the following year.
The lip is velvety brown, flushed with violet-purple. The speculum is H or X-shaped, blue or dark purple, outlined in yellow. The sepals can be pink, purplish, whitish or pale green. The petals, linear to lanceolate, have crinkly edges. The lip is usually unlobed, round, with a tiny tip.
Elliptic oval leaf, Lanceolate leaf is lance-shaped: long and widest in the middle. Basal rosette, oval to long, bluish-green; stem leaves small.
Capsule: numerous seeds.