Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bee Orchid, Ophrys argolica

A Bee Orchid looks like a regular plant being visited by a large bee. Their funny bee-like looking flowers mimic female insects to such a degree that amorous males are fooled into mating with the flowers, thereby pollinating them.

I have painted my Bee Orchid, Ophrys apifera, with acrylic paint. This paint allows me to add layers to show the complexity and three-dimensional structures of this stunning flower. Layering with thick globs of white paint brings the stigmatic surface (female organs) and the pollinia (male organs) and the anther cap (operculum) more to the front, and that is the charming part of a Bee Orchid. The ‘bee’ really has to sit on its flower.

Paula Kuitenbrouwer
The Netherlands


  1. Thank you Elva. I see there are more many more Orchids on Sketching in Nature. I need to have a look!


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