In this book, 124 species, subspecies and varieties of the Ophrys genus are presented, with descriptions which are accompanied by more than 650 photographs!
The self-sowing (wild) orchids are amongst the most admired plants of the world, with the Greek species numbering almost 200. Of these, a little more than half belong to the Ophrys genus, the only one in which the attraction of insect pollinators is accomplished through the sexual deception of certain species of male insects. The biological specialty, in conjunction with the optical result of the adaptation of the flowers so that they resemble insects, attracts the interest of biologists, botanists, photographers and naturalists. In this book, 124 species, subspecies and varieties of the Ophrys genus are presented, with descriptions which are accompanied by more than 650 photographs taken by the author and many friends and colleagues. The mode of presentation, with comparisons between similar species, emphasis on the main characteristics and photographic documentation of the above, defines the character of the book which constitutes a monograph on the genus and, at the same time, a useful field guide. It is also an aspiration that this book will constitute the basis for a better knowledge of the Greek selfsowing orchids, amongst which are some of the most beautiful and rarest species in Europe. This would have, as its consequence, the demonstration of the need for their protection and for their designation as an important component of our natural wealth.