from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A European orchid, Ophrys apifera, with a bee-like flower. Also called bee-flower and gnat-flower. See Ophrys.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Though you may be choke-full of science, not one in twenty of you knows where to find the wood-sorrel, or bee-orchis, which grow in the next wood, or on the down three miles off, or what the bog-bean and wood-sage are good for.

    Tom Brown's Schooldays

  • He delighted in natural scenery, especially distant views, and our walks and excursions were generally taken with some object, such as finding a bee-orchis or a rare plant, or exploring a new part of the country, or finding a waterfall.

    Alfred Russel Wallace Letters and Reminiscences

  • Not one young man in twenty knows where to find the wood-sorrel, or the bee-orchis; still fewer can tell the country legends, the stories of the old gable-ended farmhouses, or the place where the last skirmish was fought in the Civil

    English Villages

  • But a couple of active scythes are kept at work there summer and spring -- not that the grass is long, for it is much overtopped by the bee-orchis, but because flowers are not to laugh within reach of the civic vigilance.


  • Such are the blue bird's-eye, which just colours the mowing grass in shady spots and patches near the fence, and occasionally the bee-orchis and the butterfly-orchis.

    The Naturalist on the Thames

  • This is the case with the garden-pea, and also with our beautiful bee-orchis, in which the pollen-masses constantly fall on to the stigmas, and the flower, being thus self-fertilised, produces abundance of capsules and of seed.

    Darwinism (1889)

  • If you are well and have leisure, will you kindly give me one bit of information: Does Ophrys arachnites occur in the Isle of Wight? or do the intermediate forms, which are said to connect abroad this species and the bee-orchis, ever there occur?

    More Letters of Charles Darwin — Volume 2

  • I am infinitely obliged for your most clearly stated observations on the bee-orchis.

    More Letters of Charles Darwin — Volume 2

  • What I especially wish, from information which I have received since publishing the enclosed, is that the state of the pollen-masses should be noted in flowers just beginning to wither, in a district where the bee-orchis is extremely common.

    More Letters of Charles Darwin — Volume 2

  • Will you please to read the enclosed, and then you will understand what I wish observed with respect to the bee-orchis.

    More Letters of Charles Darwin — Volume 2


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