These Rare Orchids Look Like Monkey Faces When They Bloom

Monkey orchids are a family of plants. And they all resemble monkeys.

Photo:Columbus GV Team

Mother Nature appears to have had primates in mind when creating these unusual flowers.

The Dracula genus of orchids, also known as the “Monkey Orchid,” is a family of over 110 different

varieties that bear an uncanny resemblance to monkey heads. The majority of Dracula Orchid Simia

specimens have been discovered in southern Ecuador and Peru’s mountainous rain forests.

Carlyle A. Lueren, a botanist, named the “monkey species” in 1978. Dracula simia means

“little dragon monkey,” referring to its long fang-like petals. Despite their obvious resemblance to

monkeys, the flowers are fragrant, smelling like ripe oranges.

These exotic flowers prefer deep shade, humidity, and, contrary to popular belief, cold temperatures.

Are you considering growing your own? So, before you begin, here are the facts:

It is possible to find vendors selling Dracula seeds on the internet. However, please be advised that

cultivating these seeds isn’t advised for orchid newcomers. Monkey orchid seeds are almost as fine as

dust and require special care to grow properly. Even under ideal conditions, it will take three to

eight years for them to reach blooming size.

Dracula saulii. Photo: Wikia

If you believe you have the knowledge and can provide the proper environment, here are some

Dracula orchids that are easier to grow: Dracula erythrocheate, Dracula bella, and Dracula cordobae.

Just make sure you buy your seeds from a reputable dealer, as there are many scammers selling monkey

orchid seeds online.

Photo: Columbus GV Team

Photo: A.P. Sijm. Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz. Botanical Institute,

University of Basel, Switzerland.

Photo: Columbus GV Team

But, hey, why would nature make a particular group of orchids resemble monkeys? We don’t know

for sure, but there is definitely a pattern, and it’s exciting to discover.

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Au Gia Lam