Wild Orchids of Mallorca

bumblebee orchid Mallorca Hiking There are no less than 60 species of Orchid growing wild in Mallorca and the Balearic islands. They grow in hedgerows, meadows, woodland and even wet-lands, as they prefer a damp atmosphere. These beautiful specimens are protected in Spain and it is totally forbidden to pick them. But the pleasure of “collecting” them pictorially is even more enjoyable as you can look back on your find forever, and the Orchid can continue to give pleasure to all who pass by.

The areas around the island where you’re likely to find wild Orchids are the Mondragó nature reserve near Santanyí, in the s‘Albufera near Alcúdia, Cabrera National Park and (the most prolific) in the Tramuntana mountain range.

Orchids are incredibly adept at attracting insects to pollinate them, and have many tricks to attract their flyingOrchid Pollination Mallorca Hiking germinators. The flower grows to imitate a female insect such as a bee or a wasp (see examples in our slide show below), thereby enticing the male to mate with it. The male may leave disappointed, but the Bee or Wasp Orchid knows this will ensure it’s pollen will be attached to him and passed on to the next Orchid.

Other pollination ploys include emitting scents of the female insect and producing a form of glue so the insect has to struggle to escape. The flower then bends sufficiently as the insect breaks free to ensure the pollen is in the right position for when the insect makes contact with the stigma of the next flower.

Self pollination is also possible with Orchids, meaning if all else fails, they can do the job themselves! The result of this is that all genetic mutations are passed to all offspring of the parent. This gives rise to many stable populations as we can now see throughout Mallorca.All these factors have helped create a growing and varied range of Orchid species for us to enjoy on the island.

Orchids can be found blooming from as early as February . The White Helleborine with its white to cream-yellow flowers and the Giant Orchid, which grows to a height of 60cm are two early bloomers. Other popular species are The Mirror Orchid and the Ophrys Balearica or Balearic Orchid (the only native orchid species in the entire Balearic islands). Below we have created a slideshow of many of the varieties of Orchids you can find around our beautiful island. See how many you can find, photograph and identify later. We would also appreciate it if you left us a comment with locations on the island where you have discovered wild Orchids.

For a sure sighting of one of these beautiful flowers why not come along on one of our Tailor Made Holidays – or if you are resident in Mallorca join our Resident’s Walking Club – we have regular monthly walks and will bring you closer to all things beautiful in Mallorca.

Click on one of the images to open a lightbox slideshow

Photographs all taken in Mallorca

Photographs courtesy of:

Orchi at Wikimedia Commons (www.commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Orchi)

www.thinkoholic.com

Comments

  1. Hi – a friend of mine took many, many pictures of wild orchids on our self guided walks around Mallorca.
    Is there a book that clearly describes and pictures the orchids that could help identifying them. She has not been able to find a single one that was helpful. If you know of one (especially if in German) I would be more than grateful! In addition, I would then, in turn, send you a list of the areas where we found the orchids. Thanks in advance – Monika

    • Hi Monika,

      Thank you for your comment and Im so glad to hear that your friend enjoyed Mallorca and the wild flowers around here. At this stage I don’t know any good website for identifying the wild orchids, but I will look into it!!

      Kindest regards,

      Nina

  2. Steve Mackie says:

    Hi when would be the best time of year for my wife and I to come on holiday to see the most wild orchids next year (2014) ?

    • Hi Steve thanks for your comment. The best time for the orchids is April. There are lots of other wild flowers out at that time of year too! Hope to see you then! Thanks Fiona

  3. John Scurr says:

    For flower identification in the Mediterranean edges of Spain I use Mediterranean Wild Flowers by Christopher Grey-Wilson and illustrated by Marjorie Blamey it was published by Collins in 1993 so is probably somewhat out of date. It describes 72 species of Orchid. However be aware it does cover the whole of the Mediterranean Basin and includes Portugal.

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