31. Sackville St <1>
Jany 3d 1826
The following brief description from a living specimen, of one of the rarest European Orchideæ may perhaps interest you as you have made that family your study. –
Yours most truly
Ophrys hiulca, Mauri
Hab. <2> Villa Pamfili at Rome, in the grass – May 3d 1823
Syn. <an?> O. distoma, Bivona?
A small plant bearing one or two flowers – Stem with 2 or 3 leaves – At first sight the flowers of this species give the singular appearance of seven petals besides the lip, but the 2 lowest of these are to be considered as lateral lobes of the lip tho’ almost separated from it. Three exterior Petals greenish white, veined like those of O. aranifera but not revolute at the edge (as in that) the uppermost of the three rather the narrowest. Two interior Petals, auriform erect very small about equal in length to the column of fructification which is exceedingly obtuse. Lip – Two lateral segments (almost separated from it as mentioned above) turned down, covered with brown hair. Central segment very convex, dull brown nearly smooth resembling the body of a spider, destitute of any marks, ending in three lobes of which the two lateral are turned close under the body –
Just at the extremity of the lip is a horizontal slit more into the substance of the lip than through it. Throat, bordered by a sort of elevated ridge which is rather undulating. –
1. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.
2. Habitat, that is, where found.