Monkey Faced Orchids

Flying Duck Orchid

We had so many readers interested in the Monkey-Faced orchid picture we posted, I thought I would pass along some quick information about them and about orchids in general.

Besides being just about the cutest, funniest flora we’ve found, Monkey-Faced Orchids, or Grinning Monkey orchids live in the south-eastern Ecuadorian and Peruvian cloud forests at around 1000-2000 meters. Their scientific name is Dracula Simia-Dracula referring to the strange characteristic of the two long sepals, reminiscent of a certain Transylvanian count.

Up in the cloud forests, these orchids can flower at any time-it’s not season specific and its’ scent resembles a very ripe orange.  Some have tried to cultivate them but these beauties remain very rare. They like cool locales and partial shade and require a LOT of care and patience. I’ve challenged my nature photographer father to find and get some images in the wild from his many trips to Ecuador!

There are a lot of orchids that resemble natures creatures-including a bee, a bird’s head, a white egret and even a flying duck! (see photo)

To be a bit more practical, I thought I would pass along some of my tips for caring for your more common variety of orchid. We often use an orchid named Phalaenopsis because of their beauty and ease of care.

Here are some quick tips for your Phalaenopsis:

1)      Give them moderately bright light, but not direct sun

2)      Water them about every 7-10 days. Make sure there is a drainage hole in the bottom of the plant container and put the orchid in the sink. Let lukewarm water run through the plant.

3)      Use a saucer for under the orchid.

Just a rule of thumb: orchid roots don’t like to be wet. If in doubt, water too little!

Happy Growing!