Monkey Orchids Dracula simia from Peru

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

The orchid was only named in 1978 by the botanist Luer but is in a
family containing over 120 species mostly found in Ecuador.  Up in the
cloud mountains the monkey orchid can flower at any time – it is not
season specific. It scent resembles that of a ripe orange.

The Monkey orchid (Orchis simia) is an orchid species of the Orchis genus.

It is known for its pungent odor, which some  say is similar to that of feces!  Nice right?!

Its scientific name is Dracula simia, the last part nodding towards
the fact that this remarkable orchid bears more than a passing resemblance
to a monkey’s face – although we won’t go as far as
to be species specific on this one.

 The Dracula (genus) part of its
name refers to the strange characteristic of the two long spurs of the
sepals, reminiscent of the fangs of a certain Transylvanian count of
film and fiction fame.


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