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Neottia nidus-avis

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Neottia nidus-avis, the bird's-nest orchid, is a non-photosynthetic orchid, native to Europe, Russia and some parts of the Middle East. <ref name="avis">Template:Cite web</ref> (Codes) <ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Altervista Flora Italiana, Nido d'uccello, Bird's Nest Orchid, Neottia nidus-avis (L.) L.C. Rich. - Nomencl. ref.: De Orchid. Eur.: 37. 1817 includes European range map</ref><ref>Castroviejo, S. & al. (eds.) (2005). Flora Iberica 21: 1-366. Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Madrid.</ref><ref>Takhtajan, A.L. (ed.) (2006). Conspectus Florae Caucasi 2: 1-466. Editio Universitatis Petropolitanae.</ref><ref>Curtis, T. & Thompson, R. (2009). The orchids of Ireland: 1-160. National Museums of Northern Ireland, Cultra, Holywood.</ref><ref>Vázquez Pardo, F.M. (2009). Revisión de la familia Orchidaceae en Extremadura (España). Folia Botanica Extremadurensis 3: 1-367.</ref><ref>Dobignard, D. & Chatelain, C. (2010). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 1: 1-455. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.</ref><ref>El Mokni, R., Mahmoudi, M.R. & El Aouni, M.H. (2010). Neottia nidus-avis (L.) L.C.M.Rich.: une nouvelle orchidée pour la flore de la Tunisie. L' Orchidophile. Revue de la Société Française d' Orchidophilie 186: 181-187.</ref>

Description

Neottia nidus-avis grows to 40cm tall and each shoot can carry up to 60 flowers. Plants are not in any part green, deriving all their nutrition from a mycorrhizal fungus in the soil/litter, which in turn derives nutrition from the roots of trees.<ref>First Nature - Neottia nidus-avis</ref><ref>Albiflora - Neottia nidus-avis</ref> Plants are generally beige-brown, though sometimes yellowish or white forms are discovered. The flower labellum splits and strongly diverges at its lower end. This species of orchid can be hard to spot, being camouflaged against the leaf litter.

Across Europe, this species flowers May-June.<ref>First Nature - Neottia nidus-avis</ref><ref>Albiflora - Neottia nidus-avis</ref>

Distribution and habitat

It is widespread across most of Europe, occurring also in Algeria, Tunisia, western Siberia, the Caucasus, Iran and Turkey.

In the British Isles, Neottia nidus-avis is found in shady woodland, especially beech, on basic soils.<ref name="Stace">Template:Cite book</ref>

Conservation status in the UK is near-threatened.<ref>Wildlife Trusts - Birds Nest Orchid</ref>

Ecology

Neottia nidus-avis has been found to flourish only in partnership with mycorrhizal fungi in the genus Sebacina, particularly Sebacina dimitica in the UK.<ref>New Phytologist - Symbiotic germination and development of the myco‐heterotrophic orchid Neottia nidus‐avis in nature and its requirement for locally distributed Sebacina spp.</ref>

Pollination is carried out by Diptera and possibly also ants. Self-pollination may occur if insects do not pollinate the plants.<ref>An Atlas of Orchid Pollination: European Orchids</ref>

Taxonomy

The Latin binomial Neottia nidus-avis, as well as the common names of this orchid in several languages, derive from a comparison of the tangled roots of the plant to a bird's nest.<ref>First Nature - Neottia nidus-avis</ref><ref>Albiflora - Neottia nidus-avis</ref>

Twayblade orchids were recently reassigned to the genus Neottia after scientists found that they were closely related to N. nidus-avis.

References

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External links

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