POLLINTATION ECOLOGY OF, AND HYBRIDIZATION BETWEEN, ORCHIS CORIOPHORA L. AND O. COLLINA SOL. EX RUSS. (ORCHID ACEAE) IN ISRAEL

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Summary

The flower of Orchis coriophora L. contains free nectar in the spur and is very fragant; it attracts a large gallery of pollinators mainly Apis mellifera. The capsule production rate is about 90%

O. collina Sol. ex Russ. has empty spurs and is scentless; pollinators are scarce and capsule production rate is about 25%.

The species are sympatric in some habitats in Israel and create rare hybrids which seem to be the result of common pollinators.

It is suggested that each of the two species represents different pollination strategy in the genus. This view and the implications on self and cross pollination are discussed.

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