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Cinematic Tag

Orchidae Nigra (Moonraker)

The Orchidae Nigra, as seen in Moonraker (1979).

"Thought to be extinct - until a missionary brought one back from the Amazoco."

The Orchidae Nigra, or Black Orchid, is a fictional rare purple flowering plant found growing among the ruins of an extinct ancient civilization near the River Tapirapé, in north-central Brazil. The orchid appeared prominently in the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker and would be re-imagined for the 2012 video game 007 Legends.


Moonraker (film)[]

The Orchidae Nigra, or Black Orchid was thought to be extinct until a missionary brought one back from the River Tapirapé in Brazil. Held captive by Hugo Drax in an ancient temple, James Bond is told a short story by Drax that the unnamed civilization who built this temple was later wiped out, but unlike many other civilizations that fell victim to war or famine, the doom of these people were for "the love of this flower", and motions to the plant, enclosed in a glass bubble to keep its pollen from spreading. Highly toxic, long term exposure to the orchid's pollen causes sterility. Drax's scientists weaponized the pollen, creating a deadly nerve gas capable of causing instant death to humans rather than sterility. It does not affect animals, insects, or other forms of vegetation, only humans.

007 Legends[]

Over thirty years later, the Orchidae Nigra made a second appearance in the Moonraker-inspired levels of the 2012 video-game 007 Legends. Following a similar plot based loosely on the 1979 film, the orchid is utilized by Drax to create a deadly nerve gas and can be found as a collectible object during the mission. As with its film counterpart, the orchid can be seen contained within a glass orb.

Behind the scenes[]