MONKEY FACE ORCHIDS
The first time you come across a picture of a monkey face orchid, you can be forgiven for thinking that you are looking at an image that has been subjected to photo editing. But I kid you not, Monkey face orchids are not only real, there are number of species - each with a different face!
As you can clearly see from the images within this post, the arrangement of column, petals and lip strongly resembles a monkey's face.
Incidentally, the genus name 'Dracula' refers to the strange characteristic of the two long spurs of the sepals, reminiscent of vampire fangs!
The orchid is in fact a recent discovery and was only named in 1978 by the botanist Luer. Research has discovered that the monkey orchid is part of a family containing over 120 species, mostly found in Ecuador.
They are found only on the mountains of Ecuador and Peru at elevations of 1000 to 2000 meters above sea level.
Up in the cloud mountains the monkey orchid can flower at any time – it is not season specific.
The plant blooms at any season with a single 5 cm successive flower. These fascinating flowers are also endowed with an unusual fragrant, the scent of a ripe orange.
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