This Monkey Orchid flower looks like a Monkey.
1. The 'Monkey Orchid' Looks Like A Monkey!
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.
2. Monkey Orchids
Nature doesn’t need an audience. These wonderful orchids come from the south-eastern Ecuadorian and Peruvian cloud forests from elevations of 10 00 to 2000 meters and as such not many people throughout history got to see them. However, thanks to intrepid collectors we do get to see this wonderful Monkey Orchid. Someone didn’t need much imagination to name it though, let’s face it.
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.
Hoax or Fact:
Fact with some misinformation.
Some photographs circulating online claim to show an Orchid flower depicting the face of a Monkey or Baboon. Although the pictures appear unreal and photoshopped, they are in fact genuine orchid flowers, but as such, they are not called Monkey Orchids.
As the stories suggest, Monkey Orchid is not the real name of the flower, the actual, scientific name of the species of flower is Dracula gigas (Dracula meaning dragon and gigas meaning giant), and is commonly called as the Gigantic Dracula. This plant blooms from spring to fall with a single 10 cm wide flower, having a colorful center that does resemble the face of a monkey or baboon. Refer to the first, second and third pictures in the Image Gallery.
Monkey Orchid is the common name of another, greyish pink to reddish species of orchids called Orchis simia (last picture in Image Gallery). The curled 'arms and legs' of the lip are long & thin and there is a stumpy 'tail'. Monkey orchid flowers, which occur from May to June, are very rare, because it takes around 7 years after germination for a plant to flower.
Note that there are many species among Orchids, some of which have diverse and unflowerlike looks, resembling many other creatures and things in nature. There is another species of Orchids called Dracula simia, which again resembles the face of a Monkey. Refer to the fourth, fifth and sixth pictures of dotted orchid flowers in the Image Gallery. These plants bloom in any season with a single 5 cm successive flower. These orchid flowers are commonly called the Monkey-like Dracula, and they have the fragrance of an orange.
As mentioned in the messages, both Dracula gigas and Dracula simia species of orchids grow naturally at high elevations of 1000 to 2600 meters, in Columbian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian forests, and are also cultivated elsewhere.