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The Season of the Orchids in the Eastern Rhodopes Starts

Hundreds of wild orchids are blooming now in the Eastern Rhodopes. The most numerous are in the area of Ivaylovgrad known as the paradise for the lovers of these beautiful flowers.

In the Eastern Rhodopes, you can see almost 30 species of orchids. Among them are the Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionaceaе) listed in the Red Book of Bulgaria, the Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) and the Bee Orchid (Ophris cornuta). In Bulgaria, the Sword-leaved Helleborine orchid (Cephalanthera epipactoides) only occurs in this area of the Eastern Rhodopes.

Each orchid is a microcosm, NTG coordinator of wilderness Hristo Hristov says. Their various colors are occurring in parallel with the development of insects pollinating them. In some cases the linked evolution has led to the unique symbiosis that the pollination of certain orchids can only be achieved by a single insect species. The symbiosis with microscopic fungi that penetrate the roots provides or assists their food supplies. If the pollinating insect or the microscopic fungi disappears, the orchid cannot survive.

Due to the sensitivity to changes in the environment, their beauty and specific biological features the orchids enjoy high priority in nature conservation. For the protection of the wild orchids in the Eastern Rhodopes the areas "Likana" and "Dupkata" near Ivaylovgrad are declared protected.


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