20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Artistic
The Dancing Lizard Orchid

The beautiful purple Lizard Orchid, Himantoglossum calcaratum subsp. jankae, is one of the most spectacular orchids found within the protected area of the Babadag Forest, part of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, in Southeastern Romania. Its large inflorescences bear up to 120 flowers, each with an exceptionally elongated petal (the labellum) resembling a lizard's long, bifurcated tongue. In this image, the elongated inflorescence was in full bloom and the long, spread labella (extended petals) create an impression of lightness and flight, resembling a dancing ballerina (Orchids of Romania, by Nora De Angelli & Dan Anghelescu, 2020).

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 04.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Babadag, Romania
Copyright: © Nora De Angelli