OK
In progress indicator

Ophrys apifera (Bee orchid)

Advanced
skill rating
2 hours care
per year
0.3m
Max height
0.15m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Ophrys apifera

Other names

Bee orchid, Bee flower, Arachnites apifera

Genus

Ophrys Ophrys

Species

O. apifera - O. apifera is a tuberous, deciduous, terrestrial orchid with ovate to oblong, mid-green leaves and, from mid-spring into summer, erect racemes of green or purple flowers with lower lips marked yellow and brown. Leaves die back in summer after flowering and emerge again in autumn, slowly growing throughout winter.


Ophrys apifera is: Deciduous

Habit

Erect flower stem, Rosette

Flower

Purple in Spring; Purple in Summer

Foliage

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Mid-green in Autumn; Mid-green in Winter

How to care

Watch out for

General care

Pruning

Deadhead faded flowers spikes. Resents transplanting. Avoid fertilisers and fungicides as these can destroy the symbiotic relationship between the orchid and a soil-dwelling fungus that allows the orchid to absorb sufficient nutrients from the soil.

Propagation

Separate offsets in autumn.

Propagation methods

Division


Sign up for your FREE ACCOUNT today or login to receive detailed monthly care instructions

Where to grow

Ophrys apifera (Bee orchid) will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 0.15m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Rock, Greenhouse, Cottage/Informal, Beds and borders, Wildflower, Woodland

Cultivation

Plant dormant tubers in autumn, 5cm deep in humus-rich, gritty, sharply-drained, alkaline soil in part shade. Protect with a thick, dry winter mulch in frost-prone areas. Water moderately in growth, keep dry & frost-free when dormant.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Ophrys apifera

Other names

Bee orchid, Bee flower, Arachnites apifera

Genus

Ophrys Ophrys

Species

O. apifera - O. apifera is a tuberous, deciduous, terrestrial orchid with ovate to oblong, mid-green leaves and, from mid-spring into summer, erect racemes of green or purple flowers with lower lips marked yellow and brown. Leaves die back in summer after flowering and emerge again in autumn, slowly growing throughout winter.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Erect flower stem, Rosette


Colour

Flower

Purple in Spring; Purple in Summer

Foliage

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Mid-green in Autumn; Mid-green in Winter

General care

Pruning

Deadhead faded flowers spikes. Resents transplanting. Avoid fertilisers and fungicides as these can destroy the symbiotic relationship between the orchid and a soil-dwelling fungus that allows the orchid to absorb sufficient nutrients from the soil.

Propagation

Separate offsets in autumn.

Propagation methods

Division


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Ophrys apifera (Bee orchid) will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 0.15m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Rock, Greenhouse, Cottage/Informal, Beds and borders, Wildflower, Woodland

Cultivation

Plant dormant tubers in autumn, 5cm deep in humus-rich, gritty, sharply-drained, alkaline soil in part shade. Protect with a thick, dry winter mulch in frost-prone areas. Water moderately in growth, keep dry & frost-free when dormant.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Ophrys apifera (Bee orchid)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Orchidophilus spp.

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

A pest of orchids spreading in trade. Currently absent from the UK and unlikely to establish outdoors. Could cause severe damage to hosts growing in protected cultivation.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Ophrys apifera (Bee orchid)

Common pest name

common blossom thrips; cotton bud thrips; tomato thrips

Scientific pest name

Frankliniella schultzei

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous glasshouse pest; present in many countries; single finding in UK.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Ophrys apifera (Bee orchid)

Common pest name

Rice leaf nematode; Strawberry crimp disease nematode; White tip nematode; White tip nematode of rice

Scientific pest name

Aphelenchoides besseyi

Type

Nematode

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Damaging nematode affecting rice crops and strawberry production in warmer climates; could potentially present a threat to strawberry production and ornamental production in protected environments. But modern production practices seem to reduce likelihood of impacts. Pest is also regulated at EU level; which reduces likelihood of entry.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

In order to add a note on this plant, please add this plant to your plant lists.

In progress indicator
Full size image
In progress indicator
Caption

Caption

Cancel and close this form
In progress indicator
This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

GARDENS WITH THIS PLANT

Main garden
Main garden
Peter

ARTICLES WITH THIS PLANT

Cloudy Bay Garden

Cloudy Bay, the pioneering winery in Marlborough, New Zealand, explores the notion of escape in its fourth RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 created by celebrated, young landscape designer Sam Ovens. read more


Report content or feedback to Shoot

To add ? to your lists,
login to your account or subscribe.

Find out more about plant lists here

or Login


To check if this plant is suitable for your garden first login to your account or subscribe.

or Login

In progress indicator
Note

Note

You are adding a note to: ?

Cancel