Weird but Wonderful: Monkey-Faced Orchids

Weird but Wonderful: Monkey-Faced Orchids

We all know of moth orchids, more commonly known as the Phalaenopsis orchids, whose shapely petals resemble the wings of a moth. But have you heard of the monkey-faced orchids, which, to our amazement, has flowers that look exactly like the primate it was named after? See it to believe it.

A rarer than the rarest breed of orchids, the Dracula simia is an epiphytic plant (or a plant that thrives on top of another plant without affecting or causing the later any harm) with uniquely shaped petals and center that paints a perfect picture of a monkey – a smiling one at that.  

Aside from its unique appearance, the monkey-faced orchid is also famous for the sweet fruity fragrance it gives off when it’s in full bloom, reminding you of (no, not bananas) ripe and juicy oranges.

Credit: CCTV News

While nothing would be cooler than having your very own orchid arrangement or potted orchid plant made of monkey-faced orchids beaming back at you and naturally freshening up su casa into with its citrus scent, unfortunately, these orchid species are not only hard to come by but apparently could be impossible to grow in typical environments. According to experts, these exceptional orchid plants only thrive naturally in the cloud forests of southeastern Ecuador and Peru, from elevations of 1,000 to 2,000 meters.

Credits: JaromirAzarov

Earlier this year, curious tourists and orchid aficionados alike headed over to Japan to witness a flower display dedicated solely to these one-of-a-kind orchid plants. In celebration of the Year of the Monkey, Aquamarine Fukushima, otherwise officially known as the Marine Science Museum, Fukushima Prefecture, in Iwaki launched an aptly themed exhibit last January the monkey-faced orchids.

Stay tuned as we feature more surprises from Mother Nature!

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