Very rare species,
flowering in woodland edges from 350 to 1150m from mid-May
to beginning of June. Repeatedly indicated in the past, this
orchid was not reported for over 100 years. It was photographed
on M. Pietralata by Luciano Poggiani in 1987, and independently
by me in 1988. I also found it in small groups on M. Catria in
Two flowering specimens of
this species were found in the vicinity of the old
sites on M. Pietralata on 17/5/2010, while two further plants
did not flower this year. The thickening undergrowth of the wood
here is a direct threat to these individuals. No plants could be
discovered at the sites where it was discovered in the late
In the surroundings of
Urbino I found a group of nine vigorous spikes (photo below)
bearing a strong resemblance to O. militaris but with
flowers that seemed intermediate between O. militaris and
O. simia. In fact, these plants turned out to be hybrids
with O. simia.
On 14 May 2011 I found a
surprising population of a few hundred plants on the arid hills
near Acqualagna at an altitude of approximately 565m. This would
seem to be the first consistent population of O. militaris
in the region. Whereas the plants of the populations on M.
Pietralata sometimes show a slight influence of other related
species - probably the result of cross-breeding with hybrids
with O. simia and O. purpurea - the plants near
Acqualagna conform to the typical form.
-BRIGNOLI, G. (1811),
Catalogus plantarum Horti Botanici Urbinatis ad Annuum 1812, V.
-BRIGNOLI, G. (1813), "Elenco delle piante spontanee" in Alcuni Cenni
Sulle Produzioni Naturali del Dipartimento del Metauro, Urbino
(1957), "Rinvenimenti floristici marchigiani. Seconda serie.", in
Nuovo Giornale Botanico Italiano, pp. 117-41, Firenze (p.123).
-CRESCENTINI, R. & J.M.I.
KLAVER, Orchidee Spontanee della Provincia Pesaro e Urbino, con
osservazioni sulle specie delle Marche, Pesaro, 1997 (p.182).
-KLAVER, J.M.I., "Distribution
of the Orchidaceae of the Province Pesaro-Urbino (Central-East Italy)",
AHO Baden-Württemberg 23 (4), 1991, pp.557-747 (p.612-613)
-PAOLUCCI, L. (1890-1),
Flora Marchigiana, Pesaro (p.117).
-SERPIERI, A. (1867), "Erborizzazione
al Monte Catria (eseguita da R. Piccinini, piante trovate fiorite nel dì
11 giugno 1866)", in Bullettino Metereologico di Urbino,
fascicolo I, anno 1866, pp. 49-52, Urbino (p.38).
POGGIANI, L., "Orchis