Funny Named Flowers That Will Bring a Smile

Funny Named Flowers That Will Bring a Smile

Have you ever come across a flower that made you giggle or laugh out loud due to its silly or peculiar name? Plants and flowers often get named after people, places and even animals. But sometimes the flower names they end up getting can be downright hilarious and funny.

Take the Monkey Face Orchid for example, with its three little lip petals arranged to look like a smiling monkey face peering back at you. It doesn't take much imagination to see how it got its name. Then there are the Naked Man Orchids which resemble tiny male figures in their birthday suits. You can imagine some blushing Victorian-era botanists naming those !

The fact is that there are indeed plenty of flowers out there with ridiculous, bizarre and funny names. This may be because of their appearance resembling something amusing or legends tied to their origins. Sometimes the names subtly reference other meanings when translated. And at other times, the names come about in honor of other quirky stories.

So let's explore some of these humorously named flora specimens, understand where their curious names originate from and be thoroughly entertained by these flowers that seem to have a funny bone!

Monkey Face Orchid

Monkey Face Orchid - funny flower names

The Monkey Face Orchid is a rare species of flower that is native to the tropical rainforests of south American countries like Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It gets its distinctive name from the unique shape of its flower which has wing-like lateral petals and a lip petal with three lobes that gives the appearance of a monkey face with a friendly smile.

The scientific name of the Monkey Face Orchid - Dracula simia also references monkeys in the simia portion which is Latin for ape or monkey. This may be tied to a legend around the origins of this flower related to a group of monkey poachers who mysteriously disappeared in the forest one night after trying to capture some monkeys. Locals claim the monkey spirits turned them into these smiling orchids as punishment for their misdeeds.

Whether the legend is true or not, the Monkey Face Orchid continues to fascinate people with its playful monkey visage. The contrast of its bright orange and burgundy flowers against the lush green rainforest canopy makes it a popular but endangered species. Conservation efforts are protecting it before this clever little flower disappears from the forests entirely.

Naked Man Orchid

Naked Man Orchid - funny flower names

The Naked Man Orchid is a rare European species that grows in countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and parts of north Africa. As the name indicates, its flower bears an uncanny resemblance to naked human figures - with a tuberous lip petal resembling male genitalia.

Its scientific classification name of Orchis italica comes from the Greek word orchis meaning testicles. Such naming indicates the association of this flower with sexuality and procreation since the times of Ancient Greece when orchid tubers were consumed as an aphrodisiac.

The naked appearance of these orchids may be startling for some observers, but it ties in with the concept of fertility and masculine vigor. And looks aside, these hardy plants thrive well in the Mediterranean climate on grassy slopes and meadows. The bumblebees who aid in their pollination don't seem to be bothered by their racy names or anatomy either! So the Naked Man Orchids continue to unabashedly bloom in their birthday suits generation after generation.

Titan Arum Corpse Flower

Titan Arum Corpse Flower - funny flower names

The Titan Arum or Amorphophallus titanum is a huge tropical flowering plant that grabs attention not for just its enormous size but for its intensely rotten stench akin to decaying flesh. That is why it has earned names like the Corpse Flower or Stinky Plant.

This plant, native to the Sumatran rainforests in Indonesia can grow over 10 feet tall and spread out up to 6 feet wide. When it blooms, the red mottled center named the spadix along with its frilly yellow skirt like spathe heats up to emit an overpowering stench of rotting meat.

The purpose of this deathly odor is to attract carrion beetles and flesh flies who aid in pollinating it. Despite the smell, when this rarely-blooming plant flowers, crowds gather in botanical gardens worldwide to catch a glimpse of this largest unbranched inflorescence in the plant kingdom nicknamed the “zombie flower”.

So while it may not win any flower fragrance awards, the Titan Arum’s size and stench have ensured its notoriety in the plant world!

Passion Flower

Passion Flower - funny flower names

The Passion Flower is a vibrant blossom that features intricate circular filaments emanating from its center, resembling a crown or halo. Its name has origins in Christian mythology and the Crucifixion story which is why it is also referred to as the Passion of Christ.

The various parts of the flower contain religious symbolism - the five anthers represent the five wounds Jesus endured, the three stigmas the three nails on the cross, the halo like filaments signify the crown of thorns placed on his head, and the five petals and five sepals reference the ten faithful apostles (excluding Judas the betrayer).

The composite structure of the passion flower is seen as embodying the story, suffering and 'Passion' that Christ endured just before his Crucifixion. Today, while the religious legends may have faded - the passion flower continues to be a popular floral motif representing faith, spirituality and grace in home gardens all over. Its intricate pattern makes it one of the most ornamental flowering vines cultivated the world over.

Naked Lady Lilies

Naked Lady Lilies - funny flower names

Naked Lady Lilies are a type of Resurrection Lily that have showy, bell-shaped summer flowers ranging from red and pink to white. They get their catchy name from their appearance and growth habit - the blossoms seem to appear right out of the ground 'naked' on tall stems with no leaves covering their feet!

Botanically named Amaryllis Belladonna, legend traces back the naming of these lilies to Victorian gardeners taken aback by the site of naked nymph-like flowers blooming for all to see. The very proper Victorians likely saw them as scandalous for their lack of foliage and clothing!

But naked they continue to emerge year after year, the slight blush on their transparent petals only adding to their beauty. As summer fades, the leaves do finally appear to nourish next year's floral show. Modern gardeners have warmed up to displaying these bare-bottomed Belladonnas proudly in their summertime beds and borders.

Chocolate Cosmos

Chocolate Cosmos flowers - funny flower names

The Chocolate Cosmos flower is a rare Mexican native that gets its name from the rich dark brown color of its petals that resemble chocolate. It also emanates a sweet scent like vanilla that adds to the allusion of chocolaty flavors.

However, the flower is not edible and only smells like chocolate, hence the confusion! Its evocative color and fragrance made the Chocolate cosmos highly desirable in Victorian times as an unusual potted plant called the “Black Cosmos”. Sadly it disappeared from cultivation by the early 1900s.

After many decades of being presumed extinct in the wild too, a small surviving population was finally rediscovered in the late 1990s in Mexico. Thanks to propagation efforts since, it is slowly being reintroduced. So while the tantalizing name may be slightly misleading, the chocolate cosmos has delightfully returned reminding us of the wonders that can disappear unless actively preserved for posterity!

Starfish Flower

Starfish Flower - funny flower names

The Starfish Flower or Stapelia gigantea is a type of tropical succulent plant that produces large, exotic-looking flowers reaching over 12 inches wide, with thick textured petals that resemble a starfish or sea urchin.

Belonging to the same Stapelia plant genus known for odd shapes and patterns, it oozes nectar when in bloom that gives off a foul rotten-meat like stench, much like the corpse flower. This odor mimics decomposing animal matter to attract pollinating carrion flies and beetles.

Despite the nasty smell, the spear-shaped overlapping fuzzy petals ranging from cream, green, pink, maroon and brown with intricate inner flower patterns make this a choice selection for specialty succulent collectors. The starfish flower is an otherworldly, intriguing bloom celebrated for its weird, wonderful appearance rather than its sickening stench!

Parrot Flower

Parrot Flower - funny flower names

The Parrot Flower comprises over 140 varieties of the Impatiens genus, known for their wide, beak-shaped blossoms with fuzzy colored petals resembling the feathers of a parrot or tropical bird.

The flowers come in a stunning array of bright colors like red, orange, pink, yellow and purple with either single or double layered blooms. When fully open, they sport two tail-like side petals and a curving nectar-laden lip, completing the parrot aesthetics.

Native throughout Africa, their alien-esque forms and neon tones have made them immensely popular across gardens in Europe and North America too. Parrot flowers bring a whimsical, fun touch to annual beds and borders that kids find especially delightful.

These pretty “tropical parrots” thrive in shade loving the moisture, giving a welcomed splash of vivacity through the summers with their upturned beaks forever chatty in the breeze!


This gave me a right laugh LOL. Not too sure what I found funnier, the image of the naked man or the monkey orchid! Haha. Well done :)
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