Description & Remarks
A small delicate geophyte, 10-20 cm tall. Leaves elongated, lanced, mostly basal. Stem leaves, 1-3, envelope the stem. Stem erect, lower part green, upper part purple. The inflorescence is a short terminal raceme with a few flowers. The flowers are bi-coloured – white-pink. Upper perianth segments pink and striped, forming a hood above the flower. Lip plain white, divided into 3 lobes, central one is larger. Spur cylindrical, horizontal or slightly curving upwards. The fruit is an elongate capsule with numerous “dust” seeds. Orchis papilionacea is similar, but larger and has a striped lip.
Grows in Israel in poterium batha, very rare and locally endangered, found only on Mt Nimrod – lower Mt Hermon, 1000-1100m. Mt Hermon is the species’ southernmost location, distributed from there northwards to Turkey and Cyprus.