The Mirror Orchid

Close-ups of Maltese nature plants around us

The Mirror Orchid known in Maltese as id-dubbiena l-kaħla – (Ophrys speculum) grows on garigue and rocky steppes. It is perennial, bulbous and it leaves are flat and narrow.

Flowers 2-8, with a lip characterised by a bright bluish spot, with yellow, green, or yellowish-green border, have dense and long reddish-brown to brownish hairs along the margin.

Some Gozo plants exhibit a very reduced spot.

As for other Ophrys species, the flowers of these plants look like other insects, hence the Maltese name.

Insects of the opposite sex would try to mate with the flower, in the process pollinating it between March and May.

The Mirror Orchid is very rare and threatened in the Maltese Islands.

It is legally protected, therefore one should not pick, collect, cut, uproot, destroy or damage this unique plant in any way.


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