Monkey Face Orchid
Botanical Name: Dracula simia or Dracula gigas
Found on the sides of the high mountains in south eastern Ecuador and Peru at an elevation of 1,000 - 2,000 meters, the monkey face orchid is a popular but rare favourite among orchid collectors, because it has a distinctive monkey or baboon face in its flower.
Different flowers provide different expressions of the monkey face, from thoughtful to happy to sad.
Often this orchid is called the monkey orchid, though this is technically incorrect, even though they are flowers that look like monkeys.
The botanical name refers to dracula (meaning “little dragon”, as well as people thinking of Count Dracula with the hanging sepal spurs that also look like fangs) and simia (monkey face) and gigas (giant).
There are quite a few dracula orchids that look like monkey faces, but simia and gigas are better known.
Of the 120 species in the dracula family, most of which are found in Ecuador, many are not seasonal blooms and can flower at any time throughout the year.
Monkey face orchids require cool temperatures and partial shade. They also need attention if grown in captivity.
The scent of the blossomed flowers is said to be like ripe oranges and it is rare to find monkey face orchids grown successfully out of the wild.