Orpheus Flower Facts
- Many experts consider the most noteworthy fact about the lovely Orpheus Flower to be its remarkable hardiness. The plant has the ability to survive for extended periods without water, and to spring to life when receiving some. As a result of this ability, some call it the resurrection plant.
- Furthermore, it has a rather restricted range of habitation. Yet it appears to be quite plentiful within that range. In addition, much of its endemic range coincides with various nature reserves and one national park. Due to this, the IUCN lists the Orpheus Flower as a species of Least Concern.
- While it benefits from the protected status of much of its range, botanists still worry for its future. Its beauty leads many visitors to the protected sites, tourists and locals alike, to collect wild plants. In addition, ongoing road construction in and around the national park and nature poses a threat to the species.
Orpheus Flower Physical Description
Many botanists remain confused over how to classify the lovely, yet surprising, Orpheus Flower. This confusion occurs due to its nature. While it typically stays small, the plant remains capable of attaining a height of as much as 5.5 ft (1.7 m). Therefore, experts remain divided over whether it ranks as a flowering plant or a small shrub. Regardless, this lovely plant holds the status of being both an evergreen and a perennial. The leaves possess a rosette shape, with lacerated edges, and display a dark green color. Yet the lovely flowers remain its most noteworthy feature. These present in different combinations of either violet, white, purple, or red.
Species: Haberlea rhodopensis
Orpheus Flower Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The stunning Orpheus Flower has a very specific and somewhat limited habitat range. Yet that range also happens to be quite fragmented. That occurs because the species grows endemically only in a small part of Greece, and primarily in Bulgaria. Even there, it only grows on several mountains, and primarily on the Rhodope mountains. The species grows naturally on rocky slopes with relatively poor soil, and only on the northern sides. Yet the plant also has another distinctive feature. Bees perform only a small portion of its pollination, while the majority remains carried out by random insects. In fact, various species of flies endemic to the region serve as the major pollinators for the species. Yet it remains best known for its extraordinary ability to survive for up to 3 years without water.
Other Plants of Europe
Todd Sain Sr.