Wandering through the cloud forests of Ecuador and Peru could provide a healthy shock if you happen upon a cluster of the very rare Monkey Orchid (Dracula simian), which only a few humans have ever seen. What will be a pleasant surprise is the scent of oranges, a trait the Orchis simian, also called the Monkey Orchid, doesn’t share, smelling instead of feces.
According to Daniel Mosquin of the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research:
Although Ecuador and Transylvania are on separate continents, this gorgeously creepy orchid was named Dracula simia by the botanist Luer in 1978. Although this small orchid is not at all parasitic, one can see its resemblance to the “popped collar” cape of the popular representation of Dracula. Also, the spurs on the ends of the three petals somewhat resemble the fictional Dracula’s fangs. The name Dracula literally translates to “little dragon”, whereas the specific epithet simia translates to “monkey”.
Heck, anything that looks so much like a monkey but doesn’t smell like or throw feces is good by us, be it parasitic or not.
Deceptive Mother Nature.
Photo credit: dendrofan @ FlickrAuthor on Google+