Ophrys insectifera

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOrchidaceaeOphrysOphrys insectifera


A shade-tolerant tuberous herb usually found on chalk and limestone soils in open deciduous woodland and scrub, but also recorded from grassland, chalk-pits, limestone pavement, disused railways, spoil heaps and, rarely, unstable coastal cliffs. In Ireland and Anglesey it is found only in open calcareous flushes and fens. 0-390 m (Helbeck Wood, Westmorland).



World Distribution

European Temperate element.

© K.J. Walker, BSBI

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 9

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.8

Annual Precipitation (mm): 803

Height (cm): 60

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 264

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 31

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -1.34

JNCC Designations