Dracula simia

Dracula simia

Dracula simia or Monkey Orchid is an orchid with the striking flower looking like a capuchin monkey.

Besides its striking the appearance, the flower smells like an orange.

It is still quite rare in culture because it was only discovered in 1978. Not such an easy orchid: it must kept pretty cool (below 27 °C) and are always moist.

It belongs to the family Orchidaceae, sub-family Epidendroideae, tribe Epidendreae, sub-tribe Pleurothallidinae, genus Dracula.

This orchid is epiphytic and has no pseudobulb.

The 5 cm large, reddish-brown flowers with long tail have a wide, white halo around the petals and column and above the white, ribbed lip. They bloom in succession.

Synonym:

Masdevallia simia

Origin:

Ecuador

Habitat:

Cloud forest, between 1,000 and 2,000 m altitude



Etymology:

Dracula: from the Latin dracon (dragon)
Simia: from the Greek simos via the Latin simus (flat nosed)

Care:

Temperature:

Cold to moderate: 13-20 °C during the day, at night 4-12 °C

Light:

Partial shadow

Hygrometry:

70-90%

Ventilation:

Provide good air circulation, which reduces the risk of rot.

Water:

Keep the substrate constantly moist. In warm weather, the plant can die after only a few hours of drought.

Substrate:

Use peat moss mixed with bark to keep as much moisture as possible

Repotting:

Every two years, in the fall. Do not let the substrate rot completely otherwise the roots will rot and the plant dies.

Fertilizer:

Specialized fertilizer for orchids, once a week

Propagation:

By division of the rhizome

Image sources

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