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6 Types of Orchids Disguised as Animals

With more than 30,000 species, there are many interesting types of orchids disguised as animals. Some of them have an uncanny resemblance to animals, earning them some fun nicknames.

(While we only sell Phalaenopsis orchids, we thought you'd enjoy seeing some other varieties just for fun!)

Here are six types of orchids that look like animals in disguise.

The Donkey Orchid

types-of-orchids-donkey(Photo credit: Encyclopedia Brittanica)

Formally known as the Diuris orchid, the donkey orchid earned its nickname thanks to two petals situated above the top of the flower that resemble donkey ears. In fact, these petals are so reminiscent of donkey ears, it’s all-too-easy to see a little donkey face staring back at you.

The Bird Orchid

types-of-orchids-bird

Many people think the blooms of the popular Phalaenopsis orchids look like a bird head, even though it’s more prominent nickname is the pink moth orchid. Still, if you look closely at the center of the bloom, you’ll notice a teeny, tiny bird beak peeking out from the nectar.

The Squid Orchid

types-of-orchids-squid(Photo credit: Flickr/Octopus Gallery)

The Prosthechea Cochleata orchid clearly has an aquatic vibe, which is why its more common name is a clamshell orchid. However, when you consider each individual bloom floating in the ocean, it’s hard not to see the petals as squid tentacles.

The Bee Orchid

types-of-orchids-bee(Photo credit: Gardening Know How)

This striking orchid doesn’t just look like a bumblebee — it looks like a flower with a bumblebee that has landed on it. And rest assured: this one isn’t just in your head. Scientifically, the bee orchid (Ophrys apifera) helps attract male bumblebees that think a female bumblebee has already landed on the flower.

This smart disguise helps spread the flower pollen around.

The Fly Orchid

types-of-orchids-fly(Photo credit: Encyclopedia Brittanica)

Similarly, Ophrys insectifera, or the fly orchid, resembles a common housefly and serves the purpose of attracting a male insect to “mate” with it — which, in turn, pollinates the flowers.

The Dove Orchid

types-of-orchids-dove(Photo credit: Pinterest/Orchid Care Lady)

Peristeria Elata is known as the Holy Ghost orchid, and it doesn’t take an active imagination to see the tiny and delicately perched dove hidden inside the bloom. While some of the other types of orchids require a bit of a visual leap, the inside of this orchid looks so much like a dove that it’s almost too good to be true. Have you ever noticed any sneakily disguised animal faces hiding in your favorite type of orchid? Tell us in the comments below. Want your very own “bird orchid”? Buy orchids online today.

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