Wild orchids

The wild orchids of Mount Subasio Park

Between April and June 2015 we had a holiday dedicated to research and classification of wild orchids in Umbria, in particular those in the area of Mount Subasio. At the beginning we already knew that the territory of the park, thanks to its morphology, the terrain and the absence of herbicides, was an ideal habitat for these beautiful flowers, but what we admired it went beyond our expectations. The number of species of wild orchids present impressed us.

Orchis Provincialis
Orchis Provincialis

Making small daily excursions between the countries of Costa di Trex, San Giovanni, Armenzano, Collepino, Valtopina and on top of the Subasio, we patiently surveyed, cataloged and photographed a significant amount of variety: Anacamptis Morio, Cephalanthera Damasonium, Cephalanthera Longifolia, Cephalanthera Rubra, Dactylorhiza Maculata subspecies Fuchsii, Limodorum Abortivum, Neotinea Tridentata, Neottia Nidus-Avis, Neottia Ovata, Ophrys Insectifera, Ophrys Holosericea, Ophrys Bertolonii, Ophrys Apifera, Ophrys Fusca, Ophrys Sphegodes, Orchis Anthropophora, Orchis Mascula, Orchis Purpurea, Orchis Simia, Platanthera Bifolia, Serapias Parviflora, Epipactis Microphylla.

Gymnadenia Conopsea
Gymnadenia Conopsea – alpine variety

To non-experts and people used to buy orchids from the florist, these Latin names will not say anything, while for us they are our greatest satisfaction. The incredible vocation of Mount Subasio for flowers, so even for orchids, and the diversification of the environments that make up the park can add genres characteristic of low altitudes but also species of high mountains, such as Gymnadenia Conopsea variety of the Alps.

Less flashy than those cultivated, the wild orchids for their small size often pass unnoticed but, approaching the look and admire the details often leave speechless.

Anacamptis Pyramidalis
Anacamptis Pyramidalis

The ruler of the Park is the Anacamptis Pyramidalis; there are whole fields of it and, before flowering, it is recognized by dozens of buds that develop into a set shaped like a pyramid.

Another variety of orchid quite common is the Orchis Provincialis, with its elegant appearance, the color white or light yellow, with speckles of red-violet color in the center of the labellum.

Neotinea Ustulata
Neotinea Ustulata

The Neotinea Ustulata has unmistakable features, it has a dark red external color of the sepals, before the flowers bloom (as the name suggests), it seems burned; then gradually, from the bottom up, they bloom many small candid-white Pierrot with dark speckles.

Among the less widespread, the Himantoglossum Adriaticum is one of the strangest and more difficult to photograph orchid. It has various flowers distributed on a sturdy stem; each of them has a long labellum (7-10 cm), as the tongue of a snake, twisted on it. By chance, a beautiful specimen of this rare flower was there, waiting for us, right in the garden of the B&B where we were staying.

Himantoglossum Adriaticum
Himantoglossum Adriaticum

Ours is not a job, but a passion that we would be happy to share with other people. , In a different season, we will return again within the Subasio because our work is not completed yet.

June 15th, 2015

One thought on “The wild orchids of Mount Subasio Park”

  1. Hi, I like your post very much. I am staying in Spello from now until early June and hope to find many of the orchids you mention. Previously I have been to the Sibillini to do this and now want to explore Subasio.
    Could you tell me of any of the paths you used around Armenzano that were particularly good. I have seen many leaves so far but only Ophrys fusca. I know it is early but any help would be appreciated.

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