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  #1  
Old 06-09-2010, 05:48 AM
Triffid Triffid is offline
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Ophrys apifera Female
Default Ophrys apifera

So I bit the bullet and got myself an Ophrys apifera from the 2010 Orchid Show at Tatton Park.
A young specimen of only a couple of years of age. One leaf but seems to have a sturdy stem structure going on. Seems to be doing all right.
Currently potted in a mostly seramis mix, but as it can grow just about anywhere where it can get a hold this should be fine.

Who knows if it will ever flower, as from what I've been reading it doesn't necessarily flower each season. On the plus side it does seem to be quite a tolerant colonizer.

So far, here are the links concerning Ophrys orchids I've been checking.

Ophrys, Serapias, Comperia and Mediterranean Orchis

EDIT = britainsorchids.fieldguide.co.uk - Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera): Britain's Orchids - Site no longer exists (Problem Page)

Any tips and advice always welcome!
Lets see if I can keep it alive (I do hope so!)
Not much to see yet but it's only young

EDIT = Added Site Links (Thanks to Philip for pointing me in the right direction)
culturesheet.org Ophrys

EDIT = Plant finally died march 2011.
I would not recommend potting Ophrys in Seramis Mix (what it came in). As the plant grew it first of all displaced itself from the pot and then seemed to suffer after it had to be repotted to get the roots submerged once more. A few days later it seemed to be suffering and the leaves wilted prematurely. This time however I left it to it's own devices. Unfortunately, I believe I have definitely lost it this time. The only thing I can do is leave the mix separate and spread out in another container for the time being. But there is not much chance that it will recover.
Ophrys apifera
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Last edited by Triffid; 03-14-2011 at 11:52 AM.. Reason: Site Disappearance and sorting out links
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2010, 06:31 AM
xristie9 xristie9 is offline
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hope it will go well!
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2010, 09:12 AM
Triffid Triffid is offline
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Thank you!
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  #4  
Old 06-09-2010, 10:13 AM
smweaver smweaver is offline
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Those blooms are very intriguing. And I shouldn't have read that article about the variety of species that are grown; now I want one!

Hopefully your plant will do well for you. Good luck and keep us updated on your progress, please.

Steve
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  #5  
Old 06-09-2010, 12:34 PM
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I can't tell you about culture since I've only seen these growing wild in the French Alps. Nice choice, Ophrys apifera is a very nice looking one.
I especially like Ophrys because they are such 'intelligent' plants. The flowers mimic insects and even go as far as producing fake female insect sex pheromones in order to attract poor unsuspecting males. By the time the male realizes that he's been duped, the flower is usually pollinated.
My favorite is Ophrys insectifera (the fly Ophrys) because it really does look like a fly, right down to the bright eyes and antennae!
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:41 PM
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I've never grown this plant, and I really don't know if I'm able to because of where it comes from (it might too warm here). But there are some similarities I see with Ophrys and some of the terrestrial orchids I'm growing (particularly Habenaria, and Disa).

From reading where it likes to grow, calcium seems to show up pretty prevalently compared to everything else. Perhaps adding some calcium would be good.

The only thing about what I see so far is, whatever you do, when you repot, don't break roots (try not to break any at all if you can, shouldn't be overly difficult to avoid breaking roots). Handle them carefully, don't pull on anything. I have a hunch that it may produce tubers from the roots. If not, then the tubers are formed from stolons which may look like roots, but aren't.

Another thing is, I'd also resist the urge to divide the plants too quickly. I'd allow them to clump up a bit before removing a few. In fact, the plant might "divide" itself for you. All you gotta do is sort out the new shoots that have been growing individually, during repotting.

Repotting should ideally be done during dormancy. Since I've never grown this, I don't know if the roots remain during dormancy or not (I'm thinking it doesn't).

This is all I can say so far. You might want to post a few questions in the terrestrial orchid forum: Terrorchid - Terrestrial Orchid Forum, Gallery & Wiki - Dedicated to the culture and care of terrestrial Orchids.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:52 PM
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In France it grows in soils over calcium rich bedrock, usually in fields with sparse vegatation, on slopes along roads. Most of the places have poor soil. I think that if you want to have a chance of growing it, calcareous soil is a must.
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2010, 05:09 AM
Triffid Triffid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smweaver View Post
Those blooms are very intriguing. And I shouldn't have read that article about the variety of species that are grown; now I want one!

Hopefully your plant will do well for you. Good luck and keep us updated on your progress, please.

Steve
Steve, thanks for the well wishing, and be warned seeing them up close and personal is even more dangerous. I find these ones quite charming.

Philip and Camille, thank you both for the info.
That Forum also looks very intriguing, I may just join Going to have a good peruse first though.

As for my baby, it's not doing great I think it may have suffered from a bit of a tumble on the way home from the show.
So I'm going to have to take it out of the pot, which feels a bit nerve racking to be honest. Once I've woken up properly (more coffee please) this will be my first task of the day

The leaf still has signs of life, the stem still seems strong and it just may be a change in environment that has caused it to become sickly looking.

I'm hoping what ever's wrong it's nothing that the plant wont recover from. The Ophrys orchids are becoming overly fascinating to me, and thus even if I fail with this one I will learn and hopefully do better next time. The aim eventually is to be able to care for the rare ones, and who knows in future help with their conservation. I can but hope.

I will be updating this thread, whether my little Ophrys survives or not.
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2010, 10:07 AM
Triffid Triffid is offline
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Well, it's been un-potted and the bulb and little root doesn't seem too unhealthy.
The stem does seem to have some mark on it, like a little abrasion but again nothing I would usually worry about in other plants.
There appears to be two bulbs sections, so I'm hoping that's a good sign.

As you can see by the images the leaf is the main worrying factor.
May just be on the moist side, so extra ventilation may be in order.
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Ophrys apifera-ophrys-apifera004-jpg   Ophrys apifera-orphry-apifera003-jpg   Ophrys apifera-orphry-apifera005-jpg  
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2010, 10:22 AM
trdyl trdyl is offline
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Good luck with it.
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