Ophrys apifera

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOrchidaceaeOphrysOphrys apifera


A tuberous perennial herb of calcareous, well-drained soils. Habitats include grasslands, scrub, railway banks, roadsides, lawns, sand dunes and limestone pavement; also disturbed sites such as quarries, gravel-pits and industrial waste ground. 0-335 m (near Parsley Hay, Derbys.).



World Distribution

Submediterranean-Subatlantic element.

© G. Toone, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Calcareous grassland (includes lowland and montane types)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.9

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.7

Annual Precipitation (mm): 807

Life form information

Height (cm): 45

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 936

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 182

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 4

Atlas Change Index: 0.83

Weighted Changed Factor: 51

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (338a)Curtis TGF, McGough HN
1988.  The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants. Jenkinson MN
1991.  Wild orchids of Dorset. Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols. Sanford M
1991.  The orchids of Suffolk.
Wells & Cox (1989