Find The Monkeys And Insects In These 10 Bizarre Orchids

Since there are over 20,000 orchid species it’s not surprising that there should be a huge variety of flower shapes, but the ten examples shown here bear a remarkable resemblance to various animals and insects. Of course the purpose of flowers is to attract insects to ensure pollination, but these ten sure have a strange way of going about it. I came across these in an article by Suzanne Day which I found on the Dengarden website.

If you have never seen the unusual monkey face orchid, you are in for a real treat. Whenever I show these to people at work, they think that the orchid photos are photoshopped. They aren?t.
There are over 20,000 orchid species in the world and many of them are quite amazing. Orchids produce the most interesting rare and exotic flowers, in all different colours, shapes, smells and variegations. They also have a number of interesting tricks regarding fertilisation. It?s a bit scary and sad to think that many of the exotic ones are endangered or are on the verge of extinction. Here is my top ten list of known orchids that look like animals.

1. Monkey Face Orchid

Botanical Name: Dracula simia or Dracula gigas
Dracula simia has a medium-sized monkey face that can blossom with different facial expressions.
Found on the sides of the high mountains in south eastern Ecuador and Peru at an elevation of 1,000 – 2,000 meters, the monkey face orchid is a popular but rare favourite among orchid collectors, because it has a distinctive monkey or baboon face in its flower.
Another example of dracula simia.
Another example of dracula simia.
Different flowers provide different expressions of the monkey face, from thoughtful to happy to sad.Often this orchid is called the monkey orchid, though this is technically incorrect, even though they are flowers that look like monkeys.
Dracula gigas is another example of an orchid that looks like a monkey.
Dracula gigas is another example of an orchid that looks like a monkey.
The botanical name refers to dracula (meaning ?little dragon?, as well as people thinking of Count Dracula with the hanging sepal spurs that also look like fangs) and simia (monkey face) and gigas (giant).
There are quite a few dracula orchids that look like monkey faces, but simia and gigas are better known.
Of the 120 species in the dracula family, most of which are found in Ecuador, many are not seasonal blooms and can flower at any time throughout the year.
Monkey face orchids require cool temperatures and partial shade. They also need attention if grown in captivity.
The scent of the blossomed flowers is said to be like ripe oranges and it is rare to find monkey face orchids grown successfully out of the wild.
Dracula robledorum.
Dracula robledorum.
Go to the next page to see more of these remarkable orchids.