Monday, July 1, 2013

A monkey flower?

Orchids are elegant flowers, but some of them have a very strange appearance, such as the monkey face orchid, one of the many curiosities of nature. Since this photo began circulating on the Internet, there have been many who have doubted its existence. The scientific name of this orchid is Dracula simia, but it is popularly known as monkey face orchid, from the resemblance of its flowers to the face of an ape. These rare orchids only grow in the cloud forests of southeastern Ecuador and Peru at elevations of 1,000-2,000 meters on the side of mountains.
The name Dracula comes from the strange feature of the two long spurs of the sepals, that resemble the fangs of a number of inhabitants of Transylvania in film and fiction. The orchid was named in 1978 by the botanist Luer, but is in a family that contains over 120 species mainly found in Ecuador. The monkey face orchid is not a typical flower season, although in their natural habitat can bloom at any time. This flowers smell like ripe orange, which is ironic, because with that face the least you can expect is they smell like bananas.

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