"I want to suck your blood!" Although Ecuador and Transylvania are on separate continents, this gorgeously creepy orchid was named Dracula simia by the botanist Luer in 1978. Although this small orchid is not at all parasitic, one can see its resemblance to the "popped collar" cape of the popular representation of Dracula. Also, the spurs on the ends of the three petals somewhat resemble the fictional Dracula's fangs. The name Dracula literally translates to "little dragon", whereas the specific epithet simia translates to "monkey". The genus Dracula contains 120+ known species. Dracula simia is from the cloud forests of southeast Ecuador, where it grows at elevations between 1000-2000 meters (3250-6500 feet). In general, species of Dracula enjoy cooler temperatures -- do not let their environments exceed 27 degrees C (80 degrees F). They also enjoy a humid environment (80-90%) with a slight breeze.
Ecology Photographic has more photographs of Dracula.
The Transylvanian-born King of Romania, Vlad Tepes, was nicknamed "The Impaler" for his terrifying rule during the 1400s, when 40,000+ people were killed by his brutal methods. His "hunger" for blood and willingness to kill developed into the modern story of Dracula. BOO!