Flower spotlight: Orchids

Flower spotlight: Orchids

Orchids are one of the most delicate flowers with a uniquely diverse aesthetic. Though the smaller sizes are more common, their size depends entirely upon their species. The giant orchid can reach up to 200 pounds in weight, while the smallest variety only reaches two millimeters in size. When the larger varieties grow in clusters they can reach up to one ton, though that’s not typically the kind of orchid you’ll find at a flower shop!

Orchids adapt to their surroundings with the petal and leaf size and shape changing according the environment. They develop thick, waxy leaves in dry climates and long, thin leaves in more humid climates. Some orchids never develop leaves at all.

Aside from their stunning blooms, orchids showcase an unusual root system that adds to their unique beauty while also allowing them to thrive in multiple areas. With rhizome, tuber, or aerial roots, orchids can thrive on top of the ground, underneath it, or even attached to other woody plants.

Orchids are masters at pollination. Their feminine appearance attracts male insects that cover themselves in orchid pollen when they land on the enticing flower. They then fly off to the next pretty pollinator to spread the flower’s pollen over large areas very quickly.

Though orchids produce millions of seeds each year, very few ever develop into a full plant. Orchid seeds cannot create endosperm, which are the nutrients needed for germination. Because of this, they live in a symbiotic state alongside the fungi that they feed from during their germination period, which can last anywhere from two weeks to 15 years.

Used for spices, perfumes, medicinal remedies, and desktop decorations, orchids fill a wide variety of societal needs. With their diversity, beauty, and hardy nature, a well-placed orchid is sure to brighten any potted or vased floral arrangement and add a little something extra to that special occasion.

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