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Have You Ever Seen A Monkey Orchid

  1. crazyhorsesghost profile image74
    crazyhorsesghostposted 4 years ago


    This is the rare Monkey Orchid, found only in high elevations of Ecuador and Peru. The primate-esque flowers are formally known as Dracula simia.

    Is that not one of the strangest flowers you have ever seen. I wish I could grow some of these.

    1. Quilligrapher profile image86
      Quilligrapherposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Howdy Ghost. You have a very interesting and curious thread here. Many thanks.

      I hope you do not brand me a spoiler for pointing out a few errors in your fascinating opening post. It seems that the picture is not Dracula simia but actually Dracula gigas. {1}
      The orchid Dracula simia, it seems, is another orchid also in the Dracula (lat. Dragon) genus. It also resembles a monkey but it looks like this: {2}
      In addition, the name “Monkey Orchid” is also erroneous even though it certainly looks like a monkey. The name “Monkey Orchid” has been assigned to Orchis simia whose purple flowers resemble a monkey’s body: {3}
      And finally, as a sort of coup de grace, there is another
      White fringeless orchid. Platanthera integrilabia, called the “Monkeyface” orchid. {4}
      Hardly news to a botinist but quite enlightening to me, there are more than 20,000 species of orchids and many are visually similar to animals or objects. "One species looks just like a German shepherd dog with its tongue sticking out. One species looks like an onion. One looks like an octopus. One looks like a human nose. One looks like the kind of fancy shoes that a king might wear. One looks like Mickey Mouse. One looks like a monkey. One looks dead." {5}

      Aside from all this technical mumbo-jumbo, your picture is still both fascinating and curious. I became so curious that I set out looking to see if there an orchid that looks like me. wink
      {1} http://www.draculaspecies.com/dracula-gigas
      {2} http://www.draculaspecies.com/dracula-simia
      {3} http://www.first-nature.com/flowers/orchis_simia.php
      {4} http://www.first-nature.com/flowers/orchis_simia.php
      {5} Orlean, Susan, [i]The Orchid Thief
      , (New York: Ballantine), 1988.

      1. Shyron E Shenko profile image80
        Shyron E Shenkoposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        How awesome is this Tom. Thank you for sharing.

    2. connieow profile image79
      connieowposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I would love to have those growing in my home.  This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. innersmiff profile image74
    innersmiffposted 4 years ago

    Uh, wow! I think God was trippin' balls when he made these things.

    1. Quilligrapher profile image86
      Quilligrapherposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Innersmiff, you may be right.

      Nature is full of wonders. Some prey can look like a predator. Some butterflies can look like snakes or resemble an owl. I photographed these two butterflies on the Butterfly Farm in Aruba.

  3. crazyhorsesghost profile image74
    crazyhorsesghostposted 4 years ago

    Thanks Quilligrapher. You added a lot to the post and I really appreciate it. Loved the pictures. Thanks.