Oncidium, Dendrobium, Cymbidium and Cattleya are just a few of the more known varieties of orchids, which is the common name for a family comprising of the largest groups of flowering plants. The family is worldwide in distribution, being absent only from Antarctica and some of the most arid desert zones of Eurasia. The greatest diversity of genera and species occurs in tropical regions that remain poorly explored. For this reason, and because of the complexity of the family, estimates of the number of orchid species vary from 15,000 to 25,000, and the number of genera from 400 to 800. In describing a plant family so vast and so diverse, it is almost safe to say that there are no rules, only exceptions.
Biologists generally agree, however that one feature above all others defines the orchid and differentiates it from virtually all other flowering plants – the fusion of the male portion of the flower (stamens) and the female portion (pistils). Orchid flowers are pollinated by a great variety of flying animals, and their diversity in floral structure has resulted from adaptations to various pollinators. About half the orchid species are pollinated by bees; moths, butterflies, flies, birds, and other agents pollinate the rest. Many orchid flowers are adapted for pollination by a single species of insect.
There is nothing more striking and graceful than an orchid in bloom. Orchid flowers come in virtually every color of the rainbow with shapes, textures and fragrances abounding. Some are so beautiful they will take your breath away, while others are so unusual, they can resemble creatures of unknown origin! .
Orchid plants will dress up a tabletop or window. Several orchid plants together give a splash of interesting color and shapes. Orchids have the unwarranted reputation of being difficult to grow, but in truth, they are not fussy at all. In fact, the very adaptability that has allowed them to colonize all corners of the earth has made them very forgiving and rewarding in cultivation.
Orchid stems, cut from the plant, are often used with tropical flowers to create an elegant look. Perhaps the most show-stopping is of a single or multiple stems of cymbidium blooms simply put in a vase. Each stem is about 12” long and boasts 5-8 blooms in shades of pink, white, green or lavender.
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You can call, click or come in to one of our Field of Flowers flower markets in Boca Raton, Miami or Davie, FL for your favorite variety of orchid plants and orchid flowering stems. In store…or we deliver flowers and orchids throughout South Florida.
If you are an orchid lover, look to Field of Flowers’ annual orchid celebration in January!
(Note: This blog post, written by Donn F. Flipse, originally appeared as an article in Gold Coast Magazine)