The Amazing Orchid Flower

Learn about orchid flower care.The orchid flower is an exotic perennial plant that lives from one year to the next. Once perceived as delicate and demanding, orchid growing is now commonly done with only moderate effort. Today, there are over 25,000 species known world wide. It is one of the largest families of flowering plants on earth.

A myriad of orchid plants grow on every continent except for Antarctica, and thrive in just about any climate except for deserts and salt water.

Orchids have a distinct and undeniable mystique. Beauty alone cannot explain the world's fascination with these flowers.

When it comes to variety, complexity and elegance, they are unlike any other. Over the past two centuries, their enormous popularity has become known as "orchid mania."

The Lively History of the Orchid Flower

The earliest accounts of orchids are found in Chinese and Japanese drawings and writings, around 700 B.C. During ancient times, these plants were described and used as herbs and cures for many maladies.

During the early 1700s, adventurers, botanists, and the church all ventured into foreign countries and would return with precious orchid flowers as gifts. People were astounded by their uniqueness.

In the 1800s, Victorian society became captivated by these ornamental flowers. To satisfy the growing demand for more flamboyant and beautiful varieties, explorers went on plant hunting missions to gather as many species from the wild as they could, and ship them back to Europe in tiny greenhouses. Many orchid flowers never survived the trip, and the value of the orchid only increased.

Today orchid growing is done in mass quantities, and most orchids are as affordable as any other flower. Still, certain highly prized orchids are treasures, and a single plant can sell for many thousands of dollars.

Did You Know?

  • Vanilla flavoring comes from the cured seed pods of an orchid species widely grown in the tropics. These vanilla plants, which are actually vines, are some of the longest orchid plants, reaching lengths of well over 100 feet.
  • Orchids come in every color except for true black. Some of the flowers are so dark they are mistaken for black.
  • The smallest species is the size of a dime, while the largest orchids weigh several hundred pounds.
  • Certain varieties can live to be up to 100 years old!

There are thousands of species of orchids to choose from and they can be grown in greenhouses, conservatories, outdoors and indoors. Learn more about orchid flower care and cultivation, and discover easy ways to grow and look after these incredible plants.



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