Ophrys sphegodes subsp. aveyronensis - Aveyron Ophrys

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Liliopsida - Order: Orchidales - Family: Orchidaceae

Ophrys aveyronensis


This robust ophrys species grows up to 40cm in height and bears between 5 -12 large colourful flowers. The sepals are generally pale-to-dark pink although creamy white and greenish examples also occur. The lip of the flower can be almost round but is sometimes rhomboidal. The speculum is very variable with patterning which can consist of the H-shape familiar from Ophrys sphegodes to a complex grouping of small 'outlined' dots.

Ophrys sphegodes subsp. aveyronensis, France


This orchid is entirely endemic to the southern foothills of the Masif Central in France and can mainly be found on the Causse du Larzac. It is rare and very localised.


Ophrys aveyronensis grows on the limestone plateau of the southern Massif Central in France. It is tolerant of full sun or light shade and favours scrubland, unimproved grassland and is also found in open oak woodland.

Flowering times

Ophrys aveyronensis flowers in May and June.


The genus name Ophrys comes from Greek and means 'eyebrow' - a reference to the hairy fringe of the lip of the flower of many orchids in this genus. The specific epithet sphegodes comes from ancient Greek. The subspecies name aveyronensis is a reference to Aveyron, a department in the Occitanie region of Southern France where this orchid occurs.

Reference sources

The Plant List

Henrik AErenlund Pedersen & Niels Faurholdt (2007) Ophrys - The Bee Orchids of Europe; Kew

Pierre Delforge (2005) Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East; A&C Black

Les Orchidees de France, Belgique et Luxemborg; Parthenope Collection

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