A flower has one primary purpose in mind, it is to attract pollinators like insects or birds. This function has driven their astounding evolutionary explosion of distinct colors and shapes, some of which have even come to resemble various recognizable figures, plants or animals.
The colors of these eye-catching orchids attract insects and birds, signaling that these flowers are full of tasty nectar. Their shapes, on the other hand, often evolve to attract or accommodate specific pollinators while dissuading parasites or other, less desirable pollinators. Some flowers are more welcoming to bees, while others are perfect for hummingbirds or different insects.
Also, their stunning colors and biodiversity have attracted us. Orchid lovers value flowers like these for their resemblance to other recognizable objects which, while coincidental, is still definitely entertaining!
Even the most common varieties of orchids are prized for their unique shapes and colors. Here are the Top 10 flowers that disguise into something else.
1. Monkey Face Orchid (Dracula Simia)
It’s not very hard to guess how the Monkey Orchid got its name, but ever since photos of it started circulating on the internet about a year ago, people have had a hard time believing such a flower actually exists.
The Monkey Orchid actually exists, and yes, it really does match the grinning face of a very small monkey. The scientific name of this very rare flower is Dracula simia, with the first part hinting at the resemblance between its two long spurs to the fangs of Bram Stoker’s famous vampire count, and the second meaning “monkey” in Latin.
It only grows in the mountainous regions of Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, at an elevation of between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above sea level, but there are a few lucky collectors who have managed to grow it in “captivity”.
2. Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)
The “moth orchid” might be nicknamed for its supposed resemblance to a moth in flight, but it looks like a bird’s head to us. This genus is comprised of about 60 species and can be found in southeast Asia, the Philippines and northern Australia.
3. Naked Man Orchid (Orchis Italica)
There’s no question where the Orchis italica’s nickname, “naked man orchid,” came from. This species blooms in the spring and summer in the Mediterranean.
4. The Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)
Meet the “bee orchid.” Named for its similar shape and color to bees, the ophrys apifera is self-pollinated in every area but the Mediterranean, where it attracts insects by producing a scent that resembles that of a female bee.
Aren’t they CUTE?
5. The Egret Child (Habenaria radiata)
Also called the white egret orchid, the Habenaria radiata is known for its beautiful white petals that spread to the sides like wings on a bird. It’s the official flower of Setagaya ward, Tokyo, and can be found in China, Japan, Korea and Russia.
6. Swaddled Babies (Anguloa Uniflora)
This type of orchid has amazing flowers that look as if babies are swaddled inside.
7. Snap Dragon Seed Pod (Antirrhinum)
When in bloom, snap dragon flowers are absolutely beautiful. However, their seed pods look much more macabre, looking like little skulls hanging off a branch.
8. Flying Duck Orchid (Caleana major)
Found in eastern and southern Australia, this flower resembles a duck. Its appearance attracts insects that pollinate it.
9. Happy Alien (Calceolaria Uniflora)
This mountain plant is originally from Tierra del Fuego in the southern part of South America. Its yellow, white, and reddish colored flowers look like some form of happy alien.
10. Darth Vader (Aristolochia Salvadorensis)
Aristolochia is a large plant genus with over 500 species that is the namesake (type genus) of the family (Aristolochiaceae). These flowers look like they stepped right off the Death Star, resembling the mask of popular Star Wars character Darth Vader.