Naked Man Orchid

Earlier this week, I went up into the hills behind our flat to see if the local orchids had been squelched by the drought. To my delight, I found they had not — at least four different species were happily blooming.

This is one of my favorites: the Naked Man Orchid, Orchis italicus.

Naked man orchid (Orchis italicus)

It’s also called the Wavy-leaved Monkey Orchid, for reasons I cannot fathom. That name is neither memorable nor as perfectly descriptive. But once you’ve learned to identify a Naked Man Orchid, you’ll probably never forget it.

Naked man orchid (Orchis italicus)

Of course, the man-parts are a wee bit exaggerated, which I suppose is why somebody called it a monkey. But monkeys don’t have the wild hairdo, or the condom stashed in the tiny back pocket.

About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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4 Responses to Naked Man Orchid

  1. katiepede says:

    These are awesome!

  2. Lisa Shaw says:

    Flowers being the promiscuous little buggers they are, I highly doubt this one bothers to carry a condom. But I love the imagery. 😉

  3. Kitty Silvera says:

    Where can I buy this plant. My son–in-law grows orchids and this would be a wonderful gift.

    • I have no idea if it’s sold in greenhouses — it’s a native orchid here in the Iberian Peninsula and nobody cultivates them for personal use. They are simply a short-term beauty every spring. I wish you luck in locating one.

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