Monkey Orchid and 5 Other Amazing Animal Orchids!

Monkey Orchid and 5 Other Amazing Animal Orchids!

I know, I know, these aren’t really animals. However, these species of orchids look so much like different species that I just had to share them all with you. Prepare to be blown away by the most amazing orchids you’ve ever seen:

Monkey Orchid

monkey face orchid, Dracula simia (2)

photo via:

monkey face orchid, Dracula simia (3)

photo: Columbus GV Team

monkey face orchid, Dracula simia (4)


monkey face orchid, Dracula simia (1)

photo: Melissa,

This species of orchid, aptly named the Monkey Face Orchid (Dracula simia), was created after Mother Nature decided to do a bit of monkeying around (hah!). These rare monkey orchids only grow in the cloud forests of southeastern Ecuador and Peru at elevations of 1,000-2,000 meters on the side of mountains. In the scientific name, “simia” refers to the monkey face and “Dracula” refers to the two long spurs that hang down, almost like fangs.

What makes this flower even cooler (as if it needed to get any more awesome) is that it smells just like a ripe orange when fully blossomed. Incredible!

Bee Orchid

bee orchid, Ophrys apifera


bee orchid, Ophrys apifera

photo via:

bee orchid, Ophrys apifera


bee orchid, Ophrys apifera

photo: Robert Thompson

This incredible orchid is called – can you guess? – the Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera). It resembles a female bumblebee visiting a pink flower to attract the attention of male bees. Thinking another one of their kind is there, they try to mate with it. In the process they get covered in the orchid’s pollen and end up spreading it around as they fly and pollinating other flowers as they go. You can find these amazing orchids scattered about England, Ireland, and Wales.

Bird’s Head Orchid

bird's head orchid

photo: Shannon

bird's head orchid

photo: Tom E.

This Pink Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis sp.) is absolutely gorgeous and amazingly cool for the sole reason that it looks like it has a little bird’s head guarding the nectar on the flower. It’s so well-formed that it almost looks like a little baby bird fell into the flower and got stuck there. I’m not exactly sure why the orchid looks like this but thank God it does! What a cute little orchid.

White Egret Orchid

white egret orchid, Habenaria radiata

This elegant orchid is called the White Egret Orchid (Habenaria radiata) because it looks just like a… white egret! The flower looks like the bird is spreading its fluffy white feathers, getting ready to take off. Look, how similar are these guys?

Dove Orchid

Dove Orchid, Peristeria elata

photo via:

Dove Orchid, Peristeria elata

photo: M.a.h.S

Similar to the Pink Moth Orchid is this Holy Ghost Orchid (Peristeria elata) which also has a little hidden creature inside it. In this case though, it’s not just the head of a bird but an entire bird! A dove, to be exact. What a peaceful looking flower, don’t you think?

Flying Duck Orchid

Flying Duck Orchid, Caleana major

photo: Michael Prideaux

flying duck orchid

photo: moloch05

So last but certainly not least is perhaps my favorite of all the orchids on the list – the Flying Duck Orchid (Caleana major). It’s a small orchid, about 50 cm tall, that grows in eastern and southern Australia. It’s the mots remarkable flower – it seriously looks just like a male duck in flight! Nature just amazes me.

Which was your favorite animal orchid?

Edit 7/7/13:  I’ve received quite a few emails (to say the least) about where you can purchase these orchids. I’ve found some seeds being sold online and will list them below for your viewing pleasure. Note: I have no affiliation with these companies and do not know how great the product will be. Just sayin’! :)

Monkey Orchid (Dracula simia):
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera):
Pink Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis sp.):

Unfortunately, no luck on the White Egret Orchid, Holy Ghost Orchid, or the Flying Duck Orchid :( You’ll just have to enjoy looking at them on The Featured Creature 😉

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  • Martha

    Seriously, favorite. Website. EVAR.
    Most gorgeous flowers– it’s so sad how I want to smooch the monkeyflower. And potentially put a little outfit on it. ;D

  • Tricia Lorntson

    I can’t decide which are better, the monkeys or the flying ducks. I’ll take both.

  • Ani

    The monkey face orchid and the flying duck orchid are seriously awesome!

  • Saachi

    Thank you so much for this site! So many happy hours oohing and ahhing over these awesome posts 😀

  • vaselisa

    they are so cool but wat do the monkey orckets smell like???????

  • craig

    Dracula smell like mushrooms. seriously. the story of their pollination is even more amazing than the fact that they look a bit like monkeys, something which is of no consequence to the flowers whatsoever. (btw, you could have had Orchis simia in here too, which looks like a little dancing monkey) The Ophrys in the photo has become self pollinating in the UK as the bee that used to do the business is said to be long gone. You can see the pollinia hanging down in the picture. There are other Ophrys which do seduce bees and wasps though, just as Caleana (the flying duck) does. The flowers are highly precision engineered though and pollen sticks like glue to the hapless, amorous little creatures, until they try it on with another flower.

  • derin

    wow are these real! how can I get seed of them and how can I grow them??

  • Tammie

    please tell me how i can purchase these orchids.

    Thank you

    • Rraine

      How can get one of those

  • Albert C Francis

    Wow! Amazing.

  • LuAnn

    I work in a green house and my boss loves orchids!! How might I be able to purchase a monkey face and a bee orchids for him as well as any of the others?????? Thank you!!

  • David

    how can we purchase these if they are for sale at all?

  • Nicole

    Dracula orchids shouldn’t be bought simply because they are cute. Those plants are rare and need a special environment to be able to survive (very high humidity, low temperatures, constant air circulation and a lot of watering). If you buy it without being able to care for tjis plant properly, it will die soon.


    amazing to see the monkey and other orchids…. they r something different to analyse…. wow
    amazing yaar…….

  • smartz118

    Do male bees pollinate? I thought the workers were all female and the drone bees stick around the hive.

    • Peter Lineton

      The pollinating bees ARE female but lack the full reproductive capacity of a queen.There is only ONE queen bee(female) in each hive.The drone bees are the males of the colony and their main function is to be ready to fertilize a receptive queen

  • Colette Coco Dumont

    waouw just amazing !

  • Alina

    Wow that’s amazing! I can’t believe what I just saw.

  • ali

    hi.thank u for this good article about weird plants.i was searching all over google for writing an article about weird plants and ur good website helps me a lot. tnx and cary on more powerfull…

  • Kazmi Smh


  • adambell

    wow!realy amazing six animal.absulatly fantastic.Looking for the perfect gift for a host or hostess? Flowers are perfect! See why and read about some tips I have on picking the right flowers:

  • Patti Florida

    Where can I buy one of these??

  • Brenda R. Hansen

    I have never been able to keep orchids alive at myself. Love looking at them.. pictures and some shows here in town.. so beautiful. Thank you.

  • Cash & Carry Apopka

    kawamoto orchids has the egret. I am still looking for the duck.

  • Lakrystle

    Im amazed!

  • Loudy Malicher

    Orchid is an amazing flower. Thank you very much for this article .

  • Terry Dehoyos Garcia

    OMG,they are so beautiful!!

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