Orchids: A Look at Popular Types

Orchids: A Look at Popular Types
by Thomas Fryd

These beautiful flowers are the center of many legends and grow wherever it is tropical and beautiful. Being aerial plants, these flowers usually grow off the ground attached to trees, rocks, or other vegetation. There are thousands of orchid species in an equal number of colors, fragrances, and blooms.

As orchid enthusiasts continue to experiment and cross-pollinate their plants, the variations in the flowers become mind-boggling. Let’s look at the three most well-known orchid species.

Dendrobium

These are one of the most popular species because of their wide range of color and geographically spread-out avialability. Growing primarily in Asia and the Philippines, these species of orchid can be found in New Zealand, Australia, and New Guinea as well. Their colors range the spectrum from pure white to dark purple to sunny yellow. Many hybrid versions of the dendrobium exist as hobbyists continue to work them into even more variety.

Cattleya

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An extravagant orchid species, the Cattleya is beautiful and grows in South America and Asia and a handful of points between. They generally bloom in small groups of one to eight flowers per season and have a wide range of colors from white to deep purple and even yellows and reds. The Cattleya is a spreading plant and thus requires some room to grow and has artful stems and leaves to match the beautiful blooms it produces.

Vanda

These are somewhat strange-looking plants with very exotic flowers. One of the most easily recognized types of orchid, this plant is famous for its singular stalks which sprout very few leaves, each of which will contain a flower at its base. Most stalks will have five to twenty blooms and are a rare combination of stark simplicity and beautiful, extravagant color. This species is found all over the tropics, from the Philippines to Indonesia and on continents like India, Asia, and even on the Himalayas. Revered in many cultures as a symbol of the gods, this orchid is often grown as a centerpiece in gardens throughout the world.

When it comes to orchids, there are literally tens of thousands of individual species to choose from. The three mentioned here are merely the most common genres of this hugely popular tropical flower. Orchid-growing as a task is a challenge for most enthusiasts because of the specific climate requirements these beauties require, but it is a rewarding endeavor that they accomplish with love. Most large nurseries, flower shops, and other plant outlets will have some orchid species available for you to showcase in your home and will offer you some guide on orchid plant care.

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