Ophrys speculum (Mirror Orchid)

Scientific Name

Ophrys speculum Link

Common Names

Mirror Orchid


Ophrys speculum subsp. speculum, Arachnites speculum

Scientific Classification

Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Orchidinae
Genus: Ophrys


Color: Purple or blue and reddish-brown
Bloom Time: From March to the beginning of May


Ophrys speculum is a terrestrial orchid that grows up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall. Each inflorescence carries between 2 and 8 large flowers. The plants often grow in groups. Fowers are highly visible in bright sunshine as the light reflects off the speculum in the center of the lip. It is a brightly iridescent purple or blue and very glossy. The lip is three-lobed and bordered by a greenish-yellow border surrounded by a band of thick velvety hairs that are reddish-brown. The sepals and petals are green and marked with violet spots or stripes.

Ophrys speculum (Mirror Orchid)
Photo via janvanlent.com


USDA hardiness zone 7a to 10b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Generally, orchids can be grouped into three temperature categories: cool, warm, and intermediate. Buy a high-low thermometer to measure the temperature range in your orchid location. After that, choosing a suitable orchid is simple. As with light, some orchids easily adapt to more than one temperature range.

Most orchids we grow indoors come from the tropics, and most parts of the tropics are much more humid than the average living room. Orchids grow better if you can boost the humidity in their immediate growing area by grouping your plants or placing them on a dry well. Create a dry well by placing plastic lattice or pebbles on a tray, then adding water to just below the lattice or top of the pebbles. Place your potted plants on top of the lattice or pebbles.

Anyone who has ever watered an orchid knows that most of what you pour in runs out almost immediately through the bottom of the pot. Because orchids are potted in bark mix rather than potting soil, they need to be watered differently. See more at How to Grow Orchids Indoors.


Ophrys speculum is spread throughout the Mediterranean region and is particularly prolific in the Algarve region of Portugal.


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