Orchids, Hellebores and Serapis ( Sarapis )

George (Greg) Snow, retired from his London City career, where he worked for one of the major insurance companies, some years ago now. He and his wife Bonnie bought a second home in the Minervois region of Southern France. Since living there Greg's passion has been the study of the Orchids, Hellebores and Serapis which abound in his garden and the surrounding heathland.

Spotted OrchidSpotted Orchid

Spotted Orchid

We present here Greg's own words and pictures, he does not pretend to be an authoritative expert on the subject, just an enthusiastic amateur, so if you find any errors in the classification of the species shown here, we hope you will feel free to write to us. Copies of all correspondence received will be passed on to Greg.


"Orchids are found worldwide, divided into three main groups, with these being further divided into genus, genera, species and sub-species, plus there are the hybrids! Only two of these groups are found in Europe, and for the sake of simplicity it is probably best to say that there are something like ninety "varieties" of orchid in Europe, and over eighty of these are to be found in the Languedoc region of Southern France particularly in the Minervois and Corbières.

The design, colouring and even the scent of the orchid generally identify the insect they are trying to attract for the purposes of pollination and fertilization and close examination very clearly demonstrates this e.g.The Bee Orchid unmistakeably is intended to attract bees. The names very usually illustrating this.

Orchids are in fact perennial herbs with roots often becoming tubers or rhizomes, and often depend on the help of fungi in the ground to feed.

White Hellebore

White HelleboresWhite Hellebores

Many of the orchids found in the area are rare, sometimes single specimens only. All are subject to preservation orders with very large fines capable of being imposed on transgressors."

Autumn Ladys Tresses ― Bee Orchid ― Broad Leaved Hellebores Burnt Orchid ― Common Twayblade ― Early Purple Orchid
Early Spider Orchid ― Fly Orchid ― Fragrant Orchid Greater Butterfly Orchid ― Heath Spotted Orchid ― Lady Orchid
Lizard Orchid ― Long Lipped Serapis ― Loose Flowered Orchid Man Orchid ― Marsh Hellebores ― Military Orchid
Monkey Orchid ― Narrow Leaved Hellebores ― Provence Orchid Pyramidal Orchid ― Red Hellebores ― Sombre Bee Orchid
Violet Birds-nest Orchid ― White Bee Orchid ― White Pyramidalis Orchid Woodcock Orchid ― Yellow Bee Orchid
Unidentified ― Unamed


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