* Herbarium RNG

* Plant Sciences Laboratories  

* search

Mediterranean Plants Identification

& Distribution

 

departmental image
UoR Home > Herbarium RNG > Mediterranean Plants Identification & Distribution

Orchis papilionacea

 

Description: Tubers globose. Stems 20-40cm, erect, with basal rosette of leaves and sheaths above. Leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate. Spike ovoid, lax, few-flowered, rarely cylindrical and rather dense. Bracts lanceolate, 3- to 4- veined, longer than ovary. Flowers purple, rarely red or brownish. All perianth-segments convergent into a helmet; outer 10-15(-18)mm, ovate-oblong, the inner similar. Inner perianth segment 12-16(-25) 12-16(-25)mm, undivided, unguiculate, suborbicular or obcordate, constricted at the base, rarely ovate-flabellate or obscurely 3-lobed. Spur deflexed, cylindrical, shorter than ovary.



Poison: None Known

Uses: Root edible when cooked. It is a source of 'salep', a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or added to other cereals and used in bread etc. The salep can also be made into a drink. Salep is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrow root. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed.

Distribution: Albania,  Algeria,  Bulgaria,  Corsica,  Crete,  Croatia,  Cyprus,  France,  Greece,  Israel and The Palestinian Territories, 

RNG

P. Brewer

RNG

P. Brewer

RNG

S.L. Jury

RNG

P. Brewer

RNG

S.L. Jury

RNG

S.L. Jury

RNG

Herbarium RNG

Page last updated August 21, 2006
Tel: + 44 (0)118 378 5090 *Find Us
Email: s.l.jury@reading.ac.uk *Contact Us The University of Reading