Clusters of Little Naked Men – very manly flowers

Published August 3, 2012 by Robyn

Orchis italica b

Orchis italica

Orchis italica (Photo credit: xiostales)

I came across a new flower yesterday! Well, it’s new for me anyway. It’s called Orchis italica or Naked Man Orchid. I got quite carried away pinning images onto my Pinterest board – In The Garden. These flowers are intriguing and I wanted to find out more.

When I decide to do a bit of research on something I love to be bombarded with information and images. Well, there were lots of images, but information seemed to be a bit more thin on the ground. What I have found is mostly sourced from Wikipedia with some more sketchy little bits from others, but here goes….

Orchis is a genus within the orchid family. “Orchis” (Greek) means testicle, and these plants are so named because of the appearance of the paired subterranean tuberoids, which they have instead of pseudobulbs (which as far as I can gather is what other orchids have). They are extremely diverse in appearance. There were originally more than 1300 names contained within the genus “Orchis”, however, since it is polyphyletic (derived from more than one common ancestor or ancestral group species), it has been divided into several new genera – Ponerorchis;Schizodium;Steveniella.

These orchids have an erect stem and start flowering at the base, slowly progressing upwards, except for the Monkey Orchid (Orchis simia) which flowers in reverse order.

The Orchis italica – the central subject of my search appears to be from the Meditteranean region. The flowers appear to have little man faces on them (well most, I believe), plus arms, legs and penis. What more could a guy want?

I have also discovered there is a Naked Lady Orchid. I saw some photos of both Naked Man and Naked Ladies taken in Abruzzo, Italy, so I am figuring they are quite abundant there.

I’ve only added a couple of photos. still trying to find out how to work that photo thang properly, but there are lotsa images out there, or check my In The Garden board. I think I ended up keeping about 5 pix.

V ❤

PS: Since beginning to write this post I have also come across more on the Monkey Orchid. Amazing! – some links to articles below.



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