A nature lover, I’ve lived in Biot since 1961.
Thanks to its volcanic geology, Biot has exceptional diverse wildlife. In addition to other endemic plants, there are many varieties of orchids native to Biot: 32 species in total. This small site is very rich in diversity.
I notice that more and more nature enthusiasts come to Biot for its rich fauna and flora. With a camera around their necks, they take home photos that they’ll keep for a long time to come.
Orchids are very discreet flowers. You have to bend down with your nose to the ground to observe them, but they are so diabolically beautiful that you can’t escape their spell. In Biot, they grow on a site protected by an APPB (Prefectural Order for Biotope Protection) since 2002 and by Natura 2000 since 2014. Certain orchids have a scent that humans can smell, while others might have an odour that we cannot detect.
One of the rarest is Ophrys speculum, known as the mirror orchid. They can only be seen in 9 sites in France, including one in Biot. Speculum means “mirror” in Latin, and the flower has red hairs all around its blue mirror, to imitate to female scoliid wasp and attract the male, the only insect that pollinizes the flower.