Orchids- A fact sheet
Orchids are known for their astonishing beauty, and are considered the most popular exotic flowers. There is a strange kind of fascination attached to orchids, and they are amongst the most desirable gifts. Each orchid has a unique appearance, and displays glorious colour and form.
Orchids are a part of the largest plant families, and there are more than 800 genera and 30,000 species of orchids available in the world. Orchids are available in a stunning variety of shapes and sizes, with some measuring just a few centimetres, to others that are as huge as a ton, and have a radius of about 30 inches.
Orchids grow throughout the world, but maximum varieties grow in the tropical countries. Some orchids have to seek support of trunks and branches of adjoining trees, and some others grow on ground. The orchids that grow in temperate zones of Australia grow on ground.
Horticulturists divide orchids in three main categories depending on how they grow. Epiphytes seek the support of trees and branches, and an example of this variety is Sophronitis Coccinea. Terrestrial varieties grow underground, and include varieties such as Cypripedium Calceolus. The third variety is known as the lithophytes orchids that cover the base and forks of tress, and rely on mosses for nourishment. Cytopodium Andersoniae is an example of such orchids.
History of orchids
The fascination for orchids can be dated back to the Roman and Greek times. The Europeans valued orchids for their medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. In America, back in the 13th century, some species of orchids were used for culinary purposes. They also used fragrant orchids as perfumes.
Meaning and significance of orchids
Orchids are a perfect gift for many occasions. They make great anniversary flowers, congratulations flowers, Thank you flowers, and birthday flowers. Orchids have many different meanings. Greeks considered them symbols of virility and fertility. In Victorian era, they were treated as manifestation of luxury. These days, orchids are considered symbols of delicate and rare beauty. They are also used to demonstrate love and affection.