two different monkey orchids

Monkey Orchids Have Adorable Little Monkey Faces In Their Flowers

Monkey orchids are proof positive that nature has a sense of humor and an uncanny eye for designing things that we humans will enjoy.

Although orchids are cherished flowers that many people have inside their homes, there are several thousand different species of orchids that are just as mesmerizing. One of the most unique species of orchids is a bit different from the typical flowers you’re used to seeing.

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Read more: These Snapdragon Flower Skulls Are Perfect For The Spooky Gardener

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Different types of monkey orchids

pink monkey orchid

The Dracula Orchid Simia more often referred to as the “Orchid Monkey” is part of a family with more than 110 different varieties with an uncanny resemblance to monkey heads.

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red monkey orchid

Most of Dracula Orchid Simia specimen have been discovered at the mountainous rain-forests of southern Ecuador and Peru.

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This flower species was christened by botanist Carlyle A. Lueren in 1978. Dracula simia translates to “little dragon monkey, with reference to its long fang like petals.”

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red monkey orchid

If you’re wondering what they smell like, no need to worry. They do not smell like monkeys. Despite their eerie resemblance to monkeys, the flowers are fragrant with the scent of a ripe orange.

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What really captures our hearts about these little buddies are their long faces, formed by a handful of long petals. While the center of the flower may be a dead ringer for our ancestral cousins, the name is a shout-out to the two long sepals (the part of a flower that encloses the developing bud) located at the base of the petals.

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Read more: Galaxy Flowers Look Like They Hold Entire Universes In Their Petals

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A quick Google search and tons of sites (including Amazon and eBay) will pop up listing monkey face orchid seeds for sale for only a few dollars. However, if you’ve ever taken care of any orchid species before, starting them from seed is almost impossible. The New York Botanical Garden shares that the flowers seeds of the monkey orchid are so small, they are almost like dust. The flower seeds also require specialized techniques and a particular climate to thrive successfully.

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brown monkey orchid

There’s a reason why they only grow naturally in the tropical forests of South America; make sure you’ve prepared a cool, dark environment for these orchids to bloom. And if you’re lacking a green thumb, give your go-to cute animal videos a rest and check out the different types of monkey orchids the next time you need a mental break.

Read next: These Rainbow Air Plants Are The Perfect Touch Of Color

Cody Medina
Freelance Writer
Hi there! I'm Cody, a staff writer here at The Garden Magazine and a small-scale farmer living in Oregon. I've been gardening most of my life and now live on a quarter-acre farmstead with chickens, ducks, and a big garden.
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