Naked Man Orchid Facts
- The Naked Man Orchid forms a rather unusual species of orchid. This image does not include photoshopping and shows exactly why the remarkable plant bears its common name.
- This astonishing flower also remains one of the fortunate ones and currently lists with the IUCN as a Species of Least Concern.
- Although it does not rank as endangered at this time, the known numbers of the species appear to be declining rapidly, for a variety of reasons.
- Fortunately, despite its current listing, all orchid varieties are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Naked Man Orchid Physical Characteristics
The most obvious characteristic of the Naked Man Orchid remains the oversized lobed lip of every flower. By a quirk of Nature, this vaguely resembles the general shape of a naked man.
The plant produces a single stalk that typically attains a height of roughly 20 in (50 cm). Several short, light green leaves may also be present on occasion.
The uniquely shaped flowers of this hermaphroditic plant appear in large clusters and present varying shades of pink. Two dark circles resembling eyes also develop.
Not every bloom displays the eye-like spots. Further, the plant also produces numerous tubers, which are edible.
Species: O. italica
Naked Man Orchid Distribution, Habitat, and Conservation
The Naked Man Orchid developed native to the Mediterranean region. The Orchis italica occurs in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Serbia, Greece, the Aegean islands, Turkey, Cyprus, Malta, Syria, Jordan, and northern Africa.
It also grows at altitudes of up to 4,300 ft (1,300 m), and typically prefers areas of direct sunlight. It will also flourish in a wide range of soil types, as long as it has adequate drainage
The Orchis italica most commonly appears in fertile meadows or light forests. It also typically blooms between March and May and usually grows in large groupings.