“An orchid is a flower that blooms so tenderly; it thrills the fairest lady of the land. If placed beside a blushing rose, the rose could not compare… But how was such as I, to understand.” –I Overlooked an Orchid, Mickey Gilley.
Is the name of Orchidhaceae, or famously known as Orchid, rings a bell to you? Or, perhaps, this is one of your favorite flowers? If you have ever seen this elegant flower with your own eyes, have been gifted by someone else, or maybe planted them in your garden? Well, lucky you!
Orchid is one of the famous exotic flowers in the world. Orchids are known as one of the two largest families of flowering plants. The flower has about 28,000 species of orchids and is distributed in almost 800 genera. Famously known as an expensive flower, they are tropical flowers that is easily distinguished among other plants. It has extremely small seeds, zygomorphism (bilateral symmetry) of the flower, resupinated flowers, with stamens and carpels fused each other. Although it was generally known as a tropical and exotic flower, orchid flowers are cosmopolitan. The flower could grow in almost every habitat, with an exception in glaciers. It is also essential to know that orchids are epiphytes—they will grow and bloom beautifully on trees, thus we should keep in mind not to plant them in soil. Their blooms can last for many months.
As the lyrics of a famous classic country song from Mickey Gilley, “I Overlooked an Orchid” that we quote at the beginning of this article, an orchid is one of the most desired flowers as a gift, as this exotic, beautiful flower somehow has higher status compared to roses (yet also is more expensive than the commonly-known flower of love, as we stated in before). The enduring quality that orchids have, which is better and last longer than other floral gifts, gives a sense of security and deep affection to those you love.
With these explanations, have you taken an interest in orchids and want to know more about them, yet? We are ready to help by presenting you with several facts and tips about Orchids in this article.
Behind the name of Orchid
Learning about the history of the orchid’s name may give a surprise to you. Orchid’s type genus is Orchis, as the name derived from the Greek word “orkhis” (ὄρχις) (genitive “orkheos”), which means “testicle” or “testicular”. It may give you a surprise and wonder how did this beautiful, ethereal flower’s name origin coming from that anatomy. Theophrastos, an ancient Greek botanist, refers to the shape of its root, or the twin tubers, resembles the addressed male anatomy, thus leading him to have an idea to name the genus as Orchis. Then, officially, the name “orchid” was introduced by John Lindley, a famous botanist, and orchidologist, in 1845.
The meaning and symbolism of Orchid
Orchid in general is associated with sexuality, love, fertility, beauty, elegance, thoughtfulness, refinement, and mature charm (It’s no surprise due to the origin of its name!). But remember, just like any other flower, the color of the orchid has a different meaning and symbolism attached to it.
One of the orchids that are largely spread all around the world is Paphiopedilum. The name derived from “Paphos” in Greek, which is the name of the temple where Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was worshipped. During ancient times in Greece, there is a belief that said parents could choose the sex of their child by consuming the orchid’s tubers. If the father consumed the thick and fleshier tubers, the child would be a male. If the mother ate the thinner and smaller tubers, the child would be a female.
Now, if you were told to imagine the image of an orchid, what color does it have that popped off in your mind? Is it purple? Or white?
While it’s true that orchids are commonly purple or white, orchids have diverse colors. Each color has different meanings and symbolism.
1. Purple Orchid
This color is the mostly known color of orchids. It symbolizes royalty, respect, dignity, and admiration. At a glance, you could probably feel the royalty in its appearance.
2. White Orchid
White orchid is also one of the popular colors of orchid flowers. It is associated with humility, innocence, purity, elegance, and beauty. Can you see its pureness from the soft color?
3. Pink Orchid
Like how the usual pink color symbolizes, the pink orchids are often associated with joy, femininity, grace, and happiness, but they can also symbolize innocence. The delicate color of these petals will surely become a meaningful gift for your loved ones.
4. Yellow Orchid
The yellow orchid is the symbol of new beginnings, joy, and friendship. You can also send these yellow flowers in a bouquet for your friend who has just had a special achievement in their life, as these flowers are popular as a gift of celebration.
5. Orange Orchid
Orange orchids are associated with pride, boldness, and enthusiasm. Pack a gift of these orange blossoms for a boost of spirit for your friend who needs them!
6. Red Orchid
Just how these flaming colors usually symbolize, red orchids represent desire, courage, passion, and strength.
7. Green Orchid
The green orchid represents blessings and nature. The color green is also deeply associated with longevity, good fortune, and good health.
Extra things you should know about orchid
- Did you know that orchid has a branch of studies that are made to specifically study the family of an orchid? The name is Orchidology, a branch of botany that studies the orchid.
- The easiest orchid to grow is Phalaenopsis, a species that could grow even in low light and doesn’t require extreme humidity. If you’re a beginner and want to try to plant an orchid for the first time, you might consider buying this species!
- Various cities and countries have using orchids as their city or national flowers, such as Shaoxing (China), Venezuela, Colombia, Singapore, Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and Panama.
- Most orchids require moist and good drainage to thrive well. Mix some coarse perlite, fir bark, and sphagnum moss for the combination of the soil.
- Orchid plants hate too much light, as it might lead them to leaf scorch. However, insufficient light might make them have a poor flowering too. They prefer bright and indirect lights.