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Orchis provincialis.
Orchis de Provence.
Provence orchid.

The Orchis provincialis  is part of the genus Orchis largely amputated from many species now classified in the genera Anacamptis or Dactylorhiza. 

Orchis are bulbous orchids, usually have two which gave them their Greek name Orchis which means testicle. One of the bulbs allows the growth of the plant while the second is formed during this same period and will replace the gradually withered original bulb the following year. If we unearthed an orchid (which I proscribe of course), we would therefore find the bulb of the year more or less withered, the bulb in the making for the future season and sometimes an old bulb completely withered from the previous year. .

Orchis are fairly tall plants (20 to 60 cm), rather robust and easily spotted in meadows, wasteland or light undergrowth. The preferred terrains are generally limestone or marly and rather dry. 

A species from the south-eastern quarter of France and the northern part of the Mediterranean rim, it is a medium-sized orchid. Quite easy to identify with its whitish and sometimes very white flowers, but almost always speckled with pink on the center of the labellum. The leaves are spotted.  It will be found in soil that is more acid than calcareous but not humid.

Click on the photos to enlarge

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