The first time I took a look at one of these flowers I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. It seems like Mother Nature like to work in mysterious ways, and more often than not, sometimes succulents and species of orchids tend to look like shapes of other animals or things you could find in nature. And in the case of this particular orchid flower, it was a monkey's face. More specifically known as the monkey face orchid.
What is a Monkey Face Orchid?
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Scientifically speaking, the Dracula simia is a rare orchid which is native to the tropical cloud forests of Southeastern Ecuador and Peru and likes to live in elevations above 2,000 feet. And the best part might be the ripe orange scent it gives out when it blooms.
There are over 110 varieties of the genus Draculas and each of the orchid plants features the same characteristic monkey-faced flower centers.
How To Buy a Monkey Orchid
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.
Because of this, most seeds you see online are scams (this includes moth orchid seeds, flying duck orchid seeds, and even white egret orchid seeds) and will not bloom into the plants you are expecting.
Our advice: Take a trip to your local botanical garden to take a look at these beautiful plants, or better yet, book a trip to South America and stumble upon the plant in the wild.
This post was originally published on July 30, 2019.