No, this Dracula orchid doesn’t bite your neck or sleep in a coffin, but this miniature is interesting in its own right. Dracula means “little dragon” in Latin, and the botanist who named this genus thought that the flowers looked like dragon’s teeth. I think they look more like orange bells, but I’m grateful for an orchid rarity: an easy to pronounce name. Like their Masdevallia relatives, Draculas like cool temperatures, low light, high humidity, and constant air movement, similar to their homes high in the Andes.

Dracula flower budDracula flowerDracula flower

This particular species is called Dracula sodiroi, and comes from the mountains of Ecuador, not Transylvania. It needs daily water, and sulks from the added chemicals of regular tap water. Even San Francisco’s high quality, clean tap water isn’t pure enough, so I use rainwater or filtered water instead. The flowers are pendant, hanging down so they open from below. Looking up from underneath, they look furry on the inside.

Dracula flower view from underneathDracula flowerDracula flower close up

This orchid does bear some similarity to vampires with its dislike of direct sun. Draculas want shady conditions, and can even be grown under artificial lights, but I keep mine outside where it can enjoy the fog. While I doubt that Anne Rice will be writing books about this orchid to be made into movies starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, it’s a fascinating Dracula nonetheless.

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2 Comments on “Dracula”

  1. nancy Says:

    amazing photos!!! the color is little like red blood, spooky!

  2. Robin Ng Says:

    Thanks for your beautiful photos of a great specimen. I’ve tried to grow Dracula before, but they’re kind of fussy like you mention abuot the water quality.