Orchid Flowers (Orchidaceae family)
The orchid family, Orchidaceae, is the most numerous in the plant kingdom. There are about 25,000 to 30,000 known species of orchids around the world. Orchids are found in all continents except Antarctica, from hot tropical jungles to the cold climate in North America. However, some orchids are found only in certain region of the world and nowhere else, for example, the Vanda genus colonizes only South East Asia.
There are two types of orchids: terrestrial orchids and epiphytes. Terrestrial orchids, such as Cymbidium, grow on the ground, while epiphytes establish themselves on trees. Each type of orchids can grow in two different ways:
- Sympodial orchids: the new shoots emerge alongside of the old plants, causing lateral spread. Cattleya is sympodial-epiphytes. Most epiphytic- sympodial orchids have storage stems, pseudobulbs or bulbs, to help them survive the dry season.
- Monopodial orchids: new growth is added to the apex, increasing the plant's height. The leaves are arranged alternately around the stem. Examples of monopodial orchids are Vanda, Phalaenopsis etc...
Most popular orchids grown today are hybrid species, creating by plant breeders in their hundreds of thousands. These "new" species may be the result of crossing two related species, or from three to four different genera like Mokara orchid.
Orchids are the most beautiful, the most sensual, the most exotic, and the most costly flowers. But you can enjoy them free at this site. Most orchid pictures in these pages were taken from the annual Orchid Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri.
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