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(L.) Sw. (1799)
Limodorum abortivum, commonly known as Violet Limodore, is a species of myco-heterotrophic, achlorophyllous orchid and is native to central and eastern Europe, western Asia and the Mediterranean area. According to The Plant List (published on the Internet as The Plant List (2010) at http://www.theplantlist.org), there are three currently recognised members of the Genus. These are:
- Limodorum abortivum
- Limodorum trabutianum
- Limodorum rubriflorum
Limodorum abortivum is a herbaceous rhizomatous plant growing to 85cm, with a lax inflorescence of 10-20 violet flowers produced from April to June. The leaves are reduced to scales and, although Limodorum contains photosynthetic pigments, these are insufficient to support the nutrition of the adult plant which is believed to rely entirely on a mycoheterotrophic or parasitic relationship with fungi, primarily of the family Russulaceae. Seeds are among the largest produced by orchids and seedlings develop very slowly, remaining entirely below ground for 8-10 years before flowering.
Typical Mediterranean habitat for Limodorum abortivum is open woodland of evergreen oak, pine and chestnut from sea level to 1,300 metres.
Media related to Limodorum abortivum at Wikimedia Commons
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