Monday, 29 March 2010

PLANT: The orchid hybrid between ‘man’ and ‘monkey’ (Orchis anthropophora × Orchis simia) in Kent

May 20, 1989:
This most attractive but extremely rare hybrid orchid, a cross between the Man and the Monkey orchid, was recorded in Kent at a locality near Ospringe on several occasions in the late 1980s; at that time it was known as ‘Orchiaceras’ × bergonii. It occurred in species-rich chalk grassland together with both parents, although O. simia (Monkey orchid) itself was usually a very scarce plant everywhere. There was a suspicion at the time that the parents might have been given a little help via hand-pollination. This hybrid is also known to occur elsewhere in Europe.

When seen and photographed (above) in mid-May 1989, there were two plants of the hybrid along with more than 50 plants of Orchis simia (below) and one of O. anthropophora.

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