Dragon Orchid: A Cheeky Flower That Looks Like Cute Little Monkeys

August 15, 2020 Updated: August 15, 2020

This exotic monkey-faced orchid’s otherworldly looks make it one of the must-have species for all flower lovers. This tiny orchid is yet another testimony to how Mother Nature never ceases to inspire awe in us!

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(Nadiia Z/Shutterstock)

Native to the moist forests from southernmost Mexico to Peru, these unusual-looking flowers belong to the remarkably diverse genus called Dracula, which was established by botanist Carlyle A. Luer in 1978.

According to the American Orchid Society (AOS), Dracula has around 90 species of flowering plants listed under it. However, one of the most popular orchids remains none other than Monkey Orchid—scientific name Dracula simia.

The name Dracula simia translates to “dragon monkey” making it an aptly fitting moniker as the fully blossomed flower possesses a striking semblance with a monkey face.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(Alexandre Laprise/Shutterstock)

The sepals of this roughly triangular flower form elongated tail-like tips, while its petals form a clubbed structure that appears like cute squint eyes, and that adorable wobbly nose-like formation is nothing but the flower’s column or the gynostemium.

Monkey Orchid’s exceptional looks are not the only feature that hobbyist gardeners are a fan of. The flower proudly displays yet another appealing characteristic, its fragrance—which smells as pleasant as savory oranges. To add to the already spellbound gardeners’ delight, this species is not season-specific and is known for blooming throughout the year.

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If you are all convinced to try planting one of these flowers, take note that Monkey Orchids usually require watering only once a day and prefer a shady dimly lit area.

Apart from the famous Monkey Orchids, the genus Dracula comprises many other sought-after flowers with names equally creative, such as D. radiosa, D. cordobae, D. vampira, D. diabola, D. bella, and D. gorgona, etc. Check out some selected pictures below.

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Dracula radiosa. (Eric in SF/CC BY-SA 3.0)
Epoch Times Photo
Dracula cordobae. (Wikipedia/CC BY 2.0)
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Dracula vampira. (Eric Hunt/CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Dracula diabola. (Orchi/CC BY-SA 3.0)

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