Bee Orchid - Ophrys apifera


Short to medium plant with oval to lanceolate plain green leaves. Flowers 2 to 11 in a slender lax spike, brownish purple to yellowish green, with pink or purple sepals; lip three lobed 10 to 13 mm with a yellowish pattern enclosing a reddish brown shield shaped zone, tip incurved.

Identification difficulty

Short and rough grassy habitats, banks and quarries.

When to see it

June and July.

Life History


UK Status

Occasional to fairly frequent over much of England, favouring the south-east, and rare in the south-west and in Wales.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 18 of the 617 tetrads. The record for Bloody Oaks on 21st June 2015 is believed to be the first for the 'Wasp Orchid' variety in VC55,

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map