Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Orchid hunting

A long time ago, being an orchid hunter wasn’t just for orchid lovers. It was a real profession. During the 18th century this profession reached a new peak. Because of the high demand for orchids, people went in search for these plants in the wild. And back then, the places where orchid hunting took them were very dangerous. In fact, people lost limbs, got eaten by animals, disappeared, and even died because of the danger that came with orchid hunting.

There was a story about a group of people who went to the Philippines in 1901 to search for wild orchids. There were eight of them that started the journey, but only one came back alive. One was said to be eaten by tigers. Another one was said to be burned alive, and the other five just disappeared.

Another story tells of a group of hunters who went to Papua New Guinea. Before their journey finished, their group was captured by the natives. Two of them were even beheaded. Lucky for the other members there was a rescue party sent to save them.

Orchid hunting is usually synonymous with steamy jungles and not Minorcan grasslands, but in our island we have our own modest collection of native orchids, which like their tropical cousins, one has to look carefully.

For months I wanted to find a day to dedicate to this particular "orchid hunting" which in my case does not involve collecting the plant but only to take pictures of it.

Ophys Lutea: Broad asymmetric lateral sepals, dorsal sepal lowered. Extended petals, yellow or with a blue-grey or brown spotted velvety macula. Pollinated by male Andrena bees. This species is notable among Ophrys for the fact that the pollinating bees sit on the labellum facing away from the pollinaria instead of facing towards them, and thus collect the pollinaria with their abdomen.


Orchis tridentata (Three-toothed orchid) is a species of orchid found in southern Europe from Spain to Turkey and Lebanon. This orchid favors grassy places, woodland, scrub and maqui


  1. Me alegro de que le gusten. A ver cuando se anima a hacernos una visita!