Dracula vampira

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Dracula vampira
Dracula vampira 3.jpg
CITES Appendix II (CITES[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Epidendreae
Subtribe: Pleurothallidinae
Genus: Dracula
Species: D. vampira
Binomial name
Dracula vampira
(Luer) Luer

Masdevallia vampira Luer

Dracula vampira is an epiphytic orchid species, endemic to Ecuador.[2]


The orchid has large distinctive flowers; the sepals are rounded with the top corner pulled into a thin tail, which may extend up to 11 cm in length. Although green in colour, the sepals are covered by numerous blackish purple veins and the tails are almost completely black. The large sepals dwarf the petals and lip of the flower, which are white in colour and marked with purple and pinkish veins respectively. Dracula vampira is a large epiphyte, meaning that it does not grow in soil, it has many stems; the erect leaves are between 15 and 28 cm long.[3] The generic name of this species - Dracula means little dragon, named due to the exotic flower shape.[4]


Dracula vampira is endemic to Ecuador in South America being found only on the slopes of Mount Pichincha.[3] It is found between 1900 and 2200 metres above sea level,[5] where it is fairly locally abundant.[3]


As an epiphyte D. vampira does not grow in soil, instead it grows on the lower sections of trees on the forested mountainside; many plants may accumulate on damp, leaf litter.[3][6]


Dracula vampira was classified as Vulnerable on the 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants,[7] (although this status no longer applies[8]) and listed on Appendix II of CITES, together with almost all orchids.[1] It is popular in cultivation for its extremely dramatic, large flowers.[4]


This article incorporates text from the ARKive fact-file "Dracula vampira" under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and the GFDL.

  1. ^ a b "Dracula vampira (Luer) Luer". UNEP-WCMC Species Database. UNEP-WCMC. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Catalogue of Vascular Plants of Ecuador". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d Luer, C.A. (1993) Systematics of Dracula. Missouri Botanical Gardens.
  4. ^ a b Hermans, J. & Hermans, C. (1997) An Annotated Checklist of the Genus Dracula. Orchid Digest Corporation.
  5. ^ Jenny, R. (1997) Dracula vampira. Caesiana,8: center page.
  6. ^ Attenborough, D. (1995) The Private Life of Plants. BBC Books, London.
  7. ^ Walter, K.S. & Gillett, H.J. [eds] (1998) 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants. Compiled by the World Conservation Monitoring Center. IUCN - The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK
  8. ^ For explanation, see "Frequently Asked Questions". IUCN. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 

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