Burnt tip Orchid

The burnt tip Orchid

All orchids seem to encompass a mystery. We have many species around us. Amongst them are various patches of the burnt tip orchid. I have sat and stared at these from many minutes together in the hope of seeing something, anything, come to pollinate them. I have seen the odd bee and butterfly vaguely take an interest and then go away. I have seen a grasshopper sitting on one, but I hardly think that it was interested.

This puzzles me since the ovaries of the lower flowers are clearly growing seeds. I am more puzzled because the books say that the pollination is exclusively the activity of a rather large fly (Echinomya magnicornis). It is said that this fly which is nearly 15 mm long is attracted to the colour and faint smell of the topmost flowers. The insects thrusts its snout into the lower flowers and in the process distributes the pollinia. All this is even more odd because the flowers produce no nectar.

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