Barlia (Himantoglossum) robertiana   Giant Orchid

Barlia robertiana whole Barlia robertiana close Barlia robertiana close

On the way up the hairpin bends to the Omalos plateau we stopped at one of the very few places where there was room for a car. I had seen some interesting plants and wanted to investigate. Immediately I climbed into the rocks this plant was obvious being about 50 cm tall. First impressions were that it was damaged in some way but the green edged tinges of the petals are normal.

This orchid was present in fields in the hills of the Gargano in Italy but had the same washed out colour as the Cretan plants.

Taxonomy: Some taxonomists now believe this orchid should be placed in Himantoglossum and called Himantoglossum robertianum (e.g. Delforge, Bateman) but the authorities at Kew disagree and insist it should still be placed in Barlia.

LHS and RHS: Gargano 19th April 09 Middle: Amongst rocks nr Omalos plateau, Crete 7th April 07

Added on 27th April 2007, updated 23rd October 2008, updated 2nd January 2010, updated 3rd March 2010

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