three-toothed orchid

three-toothed orchid / Neotinea tridentata / أوركيد مسنن

By Kookaburra91156 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0Link

Status: Common

A member of the Orchidaceae family that can grow to a height from 25-50 cm with a ball-like florescence of 10-30 flowers. The stem rises from a rosette of simple leaves and the alternating leaves that sprout along the stem decrease in size as they near the inflorescence. The crimson to pink flower has an outer whorl of 3 sepals similar in color to the inner whorl of three petals. The inner middle petal forms a lip attracting insects to a nectar-less spur. The deeply lobed lip is pale in color and dotted with small red dots.

In the center is a single column composed of the male stamens united with the female style. The pollen is aggregated in a sticky substance forming a pollinium that is transferred as a unit. The ovary is composed of three carpels forming three ridges on the outside of the seed pod. The ovules are arranged along these ridges inside the ovary.

As is characteristic of this family, the germination is dependent upon a fungus as are parts of the plant with no chlorophyll. Apparently the fungus enhances nutrient absorption.

Flowering period: .It flowers from March to May. The fruit is a capsule/pod with six openings.

Ecology: It is found in woodlands on soils of terra rosa and rendesina. It is found in mountainous Mediterranean areas. Over grazing and change in land use threaten this species.

 IUCN red list status: least concern 
Local status: least concern