Limodorum abortivum (L.) Swartz, 1799
Common names: Violet Limodore, Violet Bird's-nest Orchid [En], Limodore à feuilles avortées [Fr], Fiammone, Fior de legna [It], Λιμόδωρο το εκτρωτικό [Gr], Menekşe Renkli Orkide, Türkçe adı yok [Tu]
Laerna, RHODES ● Greece
Description : Underground, the species forms a thick rhizome with numerous, strong roots tangled together like a nest. This nest-like shape ''sends'' a purplish stem above the ground that reaches a length of 110-24in/25 -60 cm. The leaves are reduced to resembling scales, they are brown and purple and completely clinging. The inflorescence is a sparse, erect 12 in /30 cm long or shorter raceme bearing 5-20 purple or bluish flowers. The flowers often remain only partially open.
Biology: It is a common Mediterranean orchid. It forms small populations with a patchy distribution in woodlands, and is characterized by much reduced leaves, suggesting a partial mycoheterotrophy. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a tendency to associate predominantly with fungal symbionts of the genus Russula. With inefficient photosynthesis specifically associate with ectomycorrhizal fungi, it appears to have adopted a nutrition strategy similar to that known from achlorophyllous orchids.
It blooms between April and July.
Habitat: light forests, bushy hillsides and infertile meadows. It is highly thermophilic.
Distribution: Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia. Northern limit: Belgium. Easter limit: Caucasus.
Delforge, P., 2006. Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. A & C Black - London. 640 pp. ISBN 9780713675252
Girlanda M. et al., 2006. Inefficient photosynthesis in the Mediterranean orchid Limodorum abortivum is mirrored by specific association to ectomycorrhizal Russulaceae. Mol Ecol.;15(2):491-504.