Nature is full of interesting and beautiful things to look at, and one of its interesting and peculiar creations is the Naked Man Orchid.
The catch is in its name and how it earned such an interesting name. Let’s know some facts about the rarely found orchid species, the Orchis Italia, which is widely known as the Naked Man Orchid.
What Is A Naked Man Orchid?
The Orchis Italica, widely known as the Naked Man Orchid, is a species of the Orchid Family, Orchidaceae Juss, found in the Mediterranean Regions.
The medium petal of this flower is modified and is called its lip or labellum. The shape of this petal looks like a naked man standing. That is why the orchid was named the Naked Man Orchid.
It is listed as a “Species of Least Concern” with the IUNC, unlike many other species having similar characteristics to this one. Having a sufficient population saved it from listing with the endangered species, but it might change over a small period of time.
Is it rare?
Orchids are, in general, rare to find, especially species of orchids with such peculiar features. Although not endangered or extinct, Naked Man Orchids are hard to find as it grows only in the Mediterranean Region and too in dense colonies.
The situation might change in the near future, and these could become endangered or extinct. Due to climate changes and many things, their habitats are getting destroyed, and they are becoming harder to find.
What does the naked man orchid symbolize?
The Naken Man Orchid resembles a naked man standing and symbolizes nothing particular. And no, this one can’t be a good option for making proposals. If you have love in mind, go for the beautiful red orchids or purple ones.
Usually, these orchids have three petals and sepals. The petals have three sizes-small, medium, and large. The medium petals of these Naked Man Orchids elongated and turned into a modified petal which is denoted as the lip of the flower or the labellum.
This takes a particular shape of a man, and a little elongated part of the petal makes it look like the genitals of a man who’s wearing a hat. That is why the Orchid Italica is named the “Naked Man Orchid”.
How To Grow and Care for the Plant?
Taking care of orchids, in general, is not an easy task to do. It takes a lot of patience, proper knowledge, and skills to maintain and grow the orchids. The same goes for the Naked Man Orchids. Keeping some tips and tricks in mind would help you take care of a Naked Man Orchid.
As a sensitive plant, Naked Man Orchids must be planted when the temperature is tolerable for this. Autumn serves as the best month to start planting these orchids at your home. It prefers a temperature of 75°F. Maintaining the temperature is very important for the growth of these plants.
This species of orchid does not require watering regularly. You have to water it occasionally. Only regular watering is required during dry weather. As it prefers moist and drained soil to grow, the water must be minimal and not overflowing from the pots where you will plant them.
The Naked Man Orchids require a moderate amount of sunlight to grow properly. The flowers would be able to bloom properly and in time if it remains in partial shades. Too much sunlight can harm these plants, and flowers won’t bloom. These plants are so sensitive that a slight deviation in their care might disrupt the plant from blooming flowers properly.
What Are The Uses Of The Naked Man Orchid?
The Naked Man Orchids have many beneficial uses. Besides its beautiful outlook gifted as a natural beauty for us to look at, these species of the Orchid provide us with different medication and nutritious benefits.
Use As A Medicine
These orchids are widely known as reliable medication for virility problems in men. From the ancient period, people used to believe that a plant shaped like a human body could cure any disease, especially the ones related to virility problems. The Naked Man Orchid is also used or consumed as an aphrodisiac since ancient times.
It doesn’t end here; the plant has some more clinical advantages. It helps in the proper digestion of humans through its anti-flatulent properties. Again, it also is beneficial for your skin and can smoothen it through its properties.
Use As A Food
Apart from medical uses, the Naked Man Orchids are also nutritious. The roots of the plant are very nutritious and can be dried to eat. The dried plant is processed into some sort of flour, which is similar to arrowroot. These are called Salep.
Where Can You Find Naked Man Orchids?
Usually, these species are found located near the Mediterranean region in dense colonies. It can also be found in Middle East countries, Spain, Turkey, etc., countries with kinda similar weather and temperature like the Mediterranean Basin.
Other than these locations, you can order these flowers or plants and their seeds from online platforms like Etsy, Amazon, etc.
How Does it Reproduce?
A very interesting fact about the Naked Man Orchid is that these plants are hermaphrodites. That means the species has both male and female reproductive organs inside them. So, the reproduction process of these plants is carried out through pollination inside the same pant.
Usually, the insects help in the pollination process of the species. The insects carry the pollen grains and place them in the reproductive organ of the plant to reproduce. Another interesting fact about this species is that it produces hybrid flowers which give a hat-like shape to the middle petal of the flower by enclosing the flower top and giving it a hood-like structure. This hood makes the petals look like a naked man wearing a hood.
Can You Eat A Naked Man Orchid?
Of course, the plant can be eaten by us. Apart from consuming it as medication, the plants are also used in beverages. The flowers of this plant are dried into flour, and this powder is used as coffee. A Turkish drink named Turkish Delight is also made of this powder.
Problems You Will Face While Growing The Flower
The Naked Man Orchids are very sensitive and delicate. That is why growing them in your garden can become a bit challenging for you. You may face many types of difficulties.
The weather may become an issue for the plant to grow. Its flowering season is usually from March-April, and it should be planted in Autumn to get the best results. If the weather is not favorable, it might cause problems for the flower to grow.
Another problem is the temperature. This plant is so delicate that not having the correct temperature would cause a problem for the flower to bloom. Its ideal temperature to grow and bloom is 75°F.
Another issue can be caused by the soil you are using to grow the plant. The soil must be moist and draining for the plant to grow. Too dry or too watery can cause the plant to slog and not grow properly.
Naked Man Orchids are very interesting and sort of rare plants to find. Other than its interesting looks, it also serves as a great source of nutrition for the human body.
This species is on the verge of getting endangered. It will be a great loss if such a species having so much economical and nutritious value disappears from the surfaces of Earth. We should take steps to preserve these orchids.
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