Bee Orchid – Ophyrys Apifera

The North Downs in Kent is home to the bee orchid, a member of the genus Ophrys, which mimics a bee to lure insects for pollination. The scent from the lip of the flower attracts the insect and leads to pseudo-copulation, resulting in pollination.

The lake spider orchid, Ophrys fuciflora, is even rarer and relies on insects for pollination, making it a super plant to find.

Botanist Fred Rumsey searches for flowers that go to extreme lengths to lure pollinating insects. He finds the bee orchid, Ophrys apifera, and its close relative the late spider orchid, Ophrys fuciflora.


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