by Stephen Mifsud
   23 Jun 2024      ()
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Anacamptis pyramidalis   (Pyramidal Orchid)

Anacamptis pyramidalis  (ORCHIDACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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General Information Species Images
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Detailed species profile
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Profile Date May-2004 (taxon update: May-2004)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Anacamptis pyramidalis - datasheet created on May-2004. Retrieved from on 23-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Anacamptis pyramidalis(L.) Rich
Published in Orchid. Eur. Annot. 33 (1817)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Orchis pyramidalis L.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Orchidaceae Juss. (The Orchid Family)
41 species from the Orchidaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Pyramidal Orchid

Maltese name(s) :

Orkida piramidali

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE ( bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc. )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Schedule VIII of [S.L. 549.44] (Exploitation subject to management measures)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

May – June

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Anacamptis: "From the Greek ""anakamptein"" which means to curve or bend behind or backwards, referring to the backwards bent bracts located at the base of the labellum". (Greek origin )
pyramidalis: having a pyramidal shape, with reference to the arrangement of the flowers. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Grassland and scrub; calcicole.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Calcareous garigue, steppe and disturbed rocky ground
Botanical Description: Stem 20-60(-75) cm, slender, with 2-3 brownish, sheathing basal scales. Lower leaves 8-25 cm, linear- to oblong-lanceolate, acute, canaliculate, entire, the upper smaller, or bract-like. Spike 2-8 cm, conical to shortly cylindrical, many-flowered; bracts linear-lanceolate. Flowers purplish-red, rarely pink or white. Perianth-segments 4-6 mm, subequal, broadly lanceolate, the outer median elliptic-ovate, concave. Labellum 6-8(-9) mm, broadly cuneate, the lobes c. 4 mm, subequal, oblong, more or less entire. Spur 12-14 mm, filiform, acute.
Chromosome number: 2n=36
Distributional range: W., C. & S. Europe, extending northwards to the Baltic islands and eastwards to C. Ukraine.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
All except the Azores, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and former USSR, Svalbard archipelago
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ag Al Au Be Bl Br Bt Bu Co Cr Cy Cz Da Ga Ge Gr Hb He Ho Hs Hu IJ It Ju LS Lu Ma Po Rf(CS) Rm Sa Si Su Tcs Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K U)

Links & Further literature (3 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Anacamptis pyramidalis senso lato in the Maltese Islands (from Orchids of the Maltese Islands book) Stephen Mifsud  (2018)
Taxonomic notes on Anacamptis pyramidalis var. urvilleana (Orchidaceae), a good endemic orchid from Malta Stephen Mifsud  (2018)
Assessment of Anacamptis pyramidalis for IUCN Redlist Stephen Mifsud  (2017)
Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (31 images)
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-0.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-1.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-2.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-3.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-4.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-5.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-6.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-7.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-8.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-9.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-10.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-11.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-12.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-13.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-14.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-15.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-16.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-17.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-18.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-19.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-20.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-21.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-22.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-23.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-24.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-25.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-26.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-27.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-28.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-29.
   Anacamptis pyramidalis   -   Image Code: ANCPY-30.

Buy Seeds and Docs
Sales of seeds of wild plants for academic studies, research or personal use. Note that not all species seeds can be exported - depending on Maltese regulations and CITES, and availability depends on season. You are hence kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges. Currently local orders are not taken.   Online Quotation (Seeds)

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Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
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Reference of published material:
Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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