Saturday, July 12, 2014

Botany picture #163: Aceras anthropophorum

It is winter here, and I am currently not interested in digging out older pictures, so I will continue with plants we saw on our trip to Europe. This well-known orchid is Aceras anthropophorum (Orchidaceae), again from south-western France. The specific epithet means "man-carrying" because the lower lip of the flowers could be interpreted to show a little man with two arms and two legs.

Descriptive names like that are fairly common in the older taxa. Indeed the entire orchid family is named, strangely enough, after the supposed resemblance of the tubers of some European species to testicles (Greek όρχις). Nice to know, I guess.

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