Serapias cordigera

Heart flowered tongue orchid                                                                        Αγκάβανος

Orcidaceae - orchid family                                                                                 Monocot.


The subtly elegant flowers of heart flowered tongue orchids, Serapias cordigera, are found growing in the damp meadows of Mediterranean grassland in early summer. The flowers have a characteristic deep brownish-purple heart shaped tongue, which gives it both its common English and scientific names.

Serapias from Serapis a Greco-Egyptian deity

Cordigera from cordis - Latin for heart = gera - Latin suffix for bearing

30-35m , 20-40cm,
6-12cm                                      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

The Cult of Serapis

After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, his first general Ptolemy became Pharaoh. He introduced Serapis as a new god, in an attempt to unite the peoples of the new Empire. Combining attributes of both  Egyptian and Greek gods,Serapis was based on the Egyptian god Osiris, god of fertility, agriculture and the dead; and Apis the sacred bull; the god also had attributes of the Greek gods Zeus, Hades, Demeter, Dionysos and Asclepius. 

The Egyptian representation was a human with the head of a bull and the Greek images depicted a man in the Greek style, who had the three headed dog Cerberus at his feet. The Serapis cult helped to maintain stability in the Ptolemaic Dynasty and even spread beyond the borders of Egypt as far as England under Roman rule.

Serapias bergonii
Tongue orchidSerapias_bergonii.html
Spirathes spiralis
Ladies tressesSpiranthes_spiralis.html