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Orchid Facts
orchid facts

10 Impressive Facts About Orchids

Orchids are one of the largest and most diverse species of plants. These beauties are grown for hobby, used as cut flowers and admired by many. Keep reading to learn some great facts about orchids that may not be well known.

  1. There are more than 25,000 species of Orchids...With more being found all the time.
  2. Orchids are perfectly symmetrical.
  3. Some Orchids mimic the type of animal they need to pollinate them. They resemble the female mating parts of that particular insect. The Male will then mate with the orchid, then fly off with pollen attached to another orchid, where they repeat the process and deposit the pollen. Photo Credit: Norfolk Wildlife Trust
  4. Orchids are one of the oldest species of flowers. Som eof the oldest fossils have been dated to several million years ago.
  5. Orchids are found all over the world, and are not native to one single continent.
  6. Orchids' fragrances vary greatly. Some smell very pleasant while others smell extremely foul, like rotting liver.
  7. The genus Dockrillia is native to Australia and is a newer species of Orchid. These were previously a part of the Dendrobium genus, but were separated in the 1980's.
  8. Arachnorchis pumila is a species of Orchid that was first discovered in 1922 and then was not seen after 1926. It was classified as exteinct until 2009 when it was rediscovered. Photo Credit: Orchid Conservation Coalition
  9. Rhizanthella gardneri is a critically endangered species of Orchid that spends its entire life underground, including after it blooms. It is considered parasitic, getting all of its nutrients from a fungi instead of photosynthesis.
  10. Orchids come in many different sizes with the largest know being
  11. the Grammatophyllum speciosum or Tiger Orchid. They can grow to be several meters long and weigh more than a tonne. On the other side you have the Platystele stenostachya which is one of the smallest Orchids in the world with the flowers measuring in millilmeters.
tiger orchid

While some Orchids are incredibly rare, others are fairly common. Orchids make great indoor plants and are not too terrilby difficult to grow with a little research and work. Your local florist can also make you a beautiful arrangement full of orchids for that special someone if you would rather give them than grow them!

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Sources: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids, Edited by Alec Pridgeon

Australian Native Orchid Society

Orchid Conservation Coalition

American Orchid Society

Science Daily

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