Himantoglossum adriaticum

Adriatic belt tongue ( Himantoglossum adriaticum )

The Adriatic belt tongue ( Himantoglossum adriaticum ), also called the Adriatic belt tongue is a plant species in the genus, the belt tongues ( Himantoglossum ) in the orchid family ( Orchidaceae). This striking, handsome species occurs in the warmer areas of Central Europe and in South and South-East Europe.


The Adriatic belt tongue is a perennial herbaceous plant, which reaches heights of growth from 50 to 70cm. The already missing the heyday basal leaves are 10-12 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, the leaves are oblong to lanceolate.

The flowering period extends from late May to June. The inflorescence contains around 25 to 40 flowers. The weak pleasantly sweet-smelling flowers are hermaphrodite and zygomorphic. The helmet forming sepals and petals are paired together and glued externally whitish pale pink or pale green inside and veined brown-red. The deeply lobed lip is filled in part with whitish brown red hair tufts and 3.5 to 6 cm long and conspicuous median lobe slightly rotated or twisted spirally and split at the top 5 to 18 mm deep. In the bud of the middle lobe is during its development screwed spiral for reasons of space, such as a clock spring and unrolls only when the flower opens. The spur measures 2 to 4 mm.


The development process of the Adriatic belt tongue has made ​​this Mediterranean as a (sub-) Florenelement: after rainfall in autumn their growth phase begins with the installation of winter leaves and in the wake of a new tuber. Growth continues in the cold season, individual sheets can therefore are often lost due to frost damage. The next phase of growth begins in early spring to the new bulb to fill and let the plant bloom in May. On dry sites, the leaves already die before flowering in order to limit water loss. The dry hot summer survived the tuber until the autumn to start then the growth cycle again.

Pollination is by bees kurzrüsselige, such as sand and plasterer bees, which with their trunks collect tiny cell sap droplets, which are excreted in the spur base. Längrüsselige honey bees search in vain in the spur for nectar and take on the pollination before. The spur and the imposing bloom thus serve to attract pollinators and deceive the long middle lobe is provided by insects as approach runway.

Occurrence and risk

The Adriatic belt tongue comes in the countries of Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia before to after Moldova.

In Austria the Adriatic belt tongue rarely occurs in sparse ( downy oak ) forests, on the seams and semi-arid grassland of hill to sub- stage on. It is regarded as high risk. The deposits are limited to the territory of the Pannonian provinces of Burgenland, Vienna and Lower Austria, individual occurrences extend into the eastern flysch Vienna Woods.


Previously, this species was included as subspecies subsp Himantoglossum hircinum. adriaticum the Bocks- belt (Himantoglossum hircinum ) out. 1978 described Helmut Baumann the Adriatic belt tongue on the basis of population in Istria as a separate article from the west, for example in Germany, France and England, occurring Bocks- belt tongue, it differs in several characteristics: including smell their blossoms pleasant rather than the smell spread from goats and the inflorescence is lockerblütiger.


Inflorescence with flowers still closed.

Inflorescence with just opening flowers whose tongues have been unleashed.

Flower with twisted tongue.