Orchids of Slovenia

Anacamptis pyramidalis (L.) L.C.Rich.As evidenced by the data published in Orchids in Slovenia" (Kukavičevke v Sloveniji, 2015), there are 79 species and subspecies of Orchidaceae growing in Slovenia, classified into 28 genera. The book also mentions further 22 species cited by various sources as occurring in Slovenia, which have either not been confirmed lately or their systemic value has not been sufficiently researched.


Ophrys holoserica (Burm.fil.) GreuterThe traditional habitat of Orchids are dry, unmanured meadows, bright forests and alpine grassland in the mountains; they can also be quite frequently found in marshlands and bogs. However, the favourite habitat of orchids in Slovenia are mild areas in the South West: Goriška Brda, the Carst and Slovenian Istria, where strong impact of the Mediterranean climate provides especially convenient conditions for their growth.

Epipactis greuteri H.Baumann & KunkeleIn spite of the growing number of located species, different interventions to their natural habitat, like drainage and extermination of wetlands, as well as fertilising of grasslands, classify orchids among endangered plants. The Standing Rules on introducing the endangered wildlife species to the Red Data List (a catalogue issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy, 2002) also comprise 65 species of Orchidaceae family. They are divided into different categories of distress, namely 6 species are classified as endangered species (rank E), 46 species are classified as vulnerable (rank V), 12 as rare (rank R) and one as presumably extinct (rank Ex?).


Nigritella lithopolitanica RavnikPursuing to the European scheme Natura 2000, several protective areas (potential Sites of Community Interest – pSCI) were proposed by the profession with the objective of wildlife conservation. There are 354 areas in total; 323 were determined pursuant to the Habitat Directive and an additional 31 were added by the Bird Directive. Altogether, the areas cover 37% of Slovenian territory. Among the 27 selected species of plants published in "Natura 2000 in Slovenia – plants" (Natura 2000 v Sloveniji – rastline, 2004) there are also three of the Orchidaceae family: Cypripedium calceolus, Liparis loeselii and Himantoglosum adriaticum.