Economic Importance of Naked Man Orchid

Orchis italica
Orchis italica

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Asparagales

Family: Orchidaceae

Subfamily: Orchidoideae

Genus:  Orchis

Species: O. italica

Orchis italica, ordinarily known as the naked man orchid or the Italian orchid (because the flowers resemble a naked man) is a type of orchid local to the Mediterranean.

The petals of this orchid really look like a naked man with arms and legs and even the reproductive organ is in detail! The flower resembles a bare man hanging with a grin and two eyes. This orchid species is found in bunches across the Mediterranean region such as Jordan, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Israel, and Greece.

This orchid plant prefers shade. The Italian orchid develops appropriately in wet soil. The species is hermaphrodite meaning it has both male and female sex organs in the same plant.

The flowers come in a wide range of colours like distinctive shades of pink, white, purple and even yellow. Other than this, it additionally comes in various sizes as well.

Blossoming season – March and April.

Economic Importance:

  1. In the older times, people believed that a plant is beneficial for the organ which it resembles. So since the naked man orchid resembles a man’s genital organ, in the Roman Empire, this orchid was utilized as a treatment for men’s virility issues.
  2. This orchid species is also beneficial for flatulence problems.
  3. It also helps in treatments of skin and is beneficial for dry skin.
  4. The plant is also useful having nutritive and diarrheal properties.
  5. The root is highly nutritious and is dried and crushed to make a flour.
  6. It is also utilized as an espresso elective to make a drink called Turkish Delight.

The species has threatened status and conservation efforts are on to protect this peculiar species of orchids.

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