7 Orchids that Could be Mistaken for Animals
Author: Melanie Dearringer4 Comments
I find orchids to be fascinating plants. They can be found in all shapes, sizes, and colors. With more than 22,000 identified orchid species and 100,000 orchid hybrids in the world, are you really that surprised to find that there are several species that closely resemble animals? To be honest, I was. And as I write this, I find that I still am amazed by the photos below.
Binomial Name: Ophrys Apifera
Resembles: a Bee
Bloom: Mid Spring to Early Summer
# of Flowers: 1-12
Interesting Fact: This orchid lures male bees by emitting a scent that is similar to that of a female bee. Its enticing smell, coupled with its bee like appearance, is what really sells the deception. When an exploited bee comes to mate, it is covered in pollen, thus pollinating the next orchid it visits.
Binomial Name: Caleana Major
Resembles: a Flying Duck
Bloom: Fall to Mid Winter
# of Flowers: 2-5
Location: Eastern and Southern Australia
Interesting Fact: Pollinated via male sawflies. When the insect touches the orchid’s labellum, it quickly snaps shut trapping the sawfly. The sawfly then deposits any pollen it may be carrying and picks up new pollen. Once released, the sawfly pollinates the next orchid it visits.
Binonial Name: Ophrys Reinholdii
Resemblers: a Goat
# of Flowers: 2-10
Location: Southwest Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Iran, & Iraq
Interesting Fact: This goat-like orchid is actually part of the bee orchid family.
Binomial Name: Prosthechea Cochleata
Resembles: a Green Squid
Bloom: Year Round
# of Flowers: 2-4
Location: Central America, Caribbean Basin, Florida Everglades
Interesting Fact: This orchid is listed as endangered in the state of Florida.
Binomial Name: Diuris Drummondii
Resembles: a Donkey
Bloom: Late Spring to Early Summer
# of Flowers: 3-8
Location: Western Australia
Interesting Fact: This particular species flowers more profusely in the season following a fire or a burn.
Binomial Name: Dracula Simia
Resembles: a Monkey
Bloom: Year Round
# of Flowers: 1 per stem
Location: Southeastern Ecuador
Interesting Fact: Most often when someone speaks of a “monkey orchid”, they are referring to another species, Orchis simia. It is said that this orchid’s numerous flowers look like a group of monkeys dancing. You be the judge.
Binomial Name: Habenaria Radiata
Resembles: a White Egret
Bloom: Late Summer to Early Fall
# of Flowers: 2-3 per stem
Location: China, Korea, and Russia
Interesting Fact: The white egret orchid typically produces 3 replacement bulbs each season. If handled properly, this plant is easily multiplied.
Do you have any orchids you would like to add to the list? Which was your favorite?
Photo “Ophrys Apifera” courtesy of Hans Hillewaert. via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ophrys_apifera_(flower).jpg
Photo “Caleana Major” courtesy of Peter Woodard. via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elvina_Track_Flying_Duck_Orchid.jpg
Photo “Ophrys Reinholdii” courtesy of Orchids Plus More.com. via http://www.google.co.za/imgres?q=orchid&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=817&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=hyYctGz_oc5XoM:&imgrefurl=http://www.orchids-plus-more.com/Orchidaceae-july07-orchid-newsletter.html&docid=xxmuA-etWezWWM&w=400&h=521&ei=VnpfTrTzH4fC8QP2hYGuAw&zoom=1
Photo “Prosthechea Cochleata” courtesy of Doris Lohmann. via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Encyclia_cochleata_-_flower.jpg
Photo “Dracula Simia” courtesy of ColumbusGVTeam.com. via http://www.flickr.com/photos/gvtbolivia/2707812344/
Photo “Habenaria Radiata” courtesy of Alpsdake. via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Habenaria_radiata_flower.JPG
Photo “Monkey Face Orchid” courtesy of Melissa. via http://jamjarflowers.co.uk
Reference: Wikipedia via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchidaceae