Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Deception of Orchids

The Red Crucifix orchid at the top has formations which look like the crucifix. It has two colours, the red and yellow one like the one on top , and a deeper red one. The flowers are bright and long lasting. Many times I mistook the flowers for the flowers of the Butterfly Weed Asclepia(below), from a distance. It was only when I read the wonderful article 'Love and Lies' by Michael Pollan in the National Georaphic magazine of September2009 yesterday, that I understood that the resemblance was not serendipity,but deliberate.
The orchids want the pollinators to come to them. Since they have neither scent nor nectar to offer, they resort to deception! Butterflies which love asclepias descend on the orchid, thinking them to be their favourite flowers.


  1. It is fascinating how mother nature does her thing. Mimicry occurs in several species of butterflies as well.

  2. Ooooh, the ground orchid is a beauty....with brains!

  3. That really is very interesting. They do both have very pretty flowers, and I love the colors.

  4. Oooh! Cunning. That has to be the Mata Hari of the orchid world!

  5. Islandgal: Yes, Mother Nature's tricks are fascinating.
    Shailaja: It seems all orchids are much more intelligent than we think them to be.
    Catherine: The article was very interesting.
    Sunita: Welcome and thanks for your comment.

  6. That's so interesting! Must get hold of that issue. Loved the blooms as well.