Dragon Discovery: The Dracula Smaug Orchid

RBG Kew reports on Dracula smaug, a newly discovered orchid. This orchid isn’t named after the vampire legend; “Dracula” means “little dragon” in Latin, and “Smaug” is the name of the fire-breathing dragon from JRR Tolkien’s classic, The Hobbit. The species was discovered in cloud forests of northwestern Ecuador, near the Colombian border. Even though this Masdevallia relative with strange orange flowers has been given a fearsome name, it’s no danger to anyone. In fact, humans are a danger to it, since habitat destruction and removal of wild plants threaten it and many other species in this rich jungle.

Don’t miss the video below from the same article, offering a brief glimpse into Kew’s Tropical Orchid Nursery. There are extraordinary orchids from the Colombian cloud forest, including other types of Draculas.

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