Types of Orchids
Orchids (family Orchidaceaeare), the largest family of flowers in the world, commonly get associated with the tropics.
In fact, adaptability represents the key to the Orchidaceaeare success. They grow almost anywhere, with many species found in temperate and colder climates.
|Types of Orchids: Orchidaceaeare
North American Orchids
Types of Flowers
Most orchid species fall into the epiphytes category, meaning their are plants that grow on trees.
Others grow on and around rocky outposts, forest floors, and like other flowers, from the earth's soil. The calypso orchid, one popular example of a terrestrial orchid, grows.
Global orchid population surpass the twenty five thousand species mark, divided into over eight hundred genera.
Flora of North America lists 208 orchid species divides into 70 genera. Roughly fifty percent of native North American orchid species grow in Florida.
The video highlights five native western orchid species covering four orchid genera.
Growing orchids as house plants or garden plants adds to the orchid's enthusiastic reception among gardeners world wide. For well over one hundred years, lengthy textbooks, along with smaller sized pamphlets offering orchid growing advice have attracted gardeners' attentions.
While the lists of easy to grow and care for orchid house plants varies slightly, a handful of species from different genera tend to make most lists.
For example, an orchid growing pamphlet published by the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of Tennessee, lists species from four genera, Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum and Oncidiums as easy to grow orchids.
A pamphlet from Pasco County, Florida horticulture specialists lists seven popular, orchid house plant genera: Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Oncidiums, Vanda, Epidendrum and Paphiopedilum.
Growing species from any of these genera requires an understanding of the basic light, water, temperature and nutrition needs. Some genera such as Cattleya, for example, are high light orchids, requiring a good deal of sun or artificial lighting when grown indoors. Phalaenopsis, on the other hand, are medium light orchids that grow well without extensive sun exposure.
Familiar to everyone who has ever needed a corsage, they are colorful new world orchids, native to the tropical areas of Central and South America.
Like their tropical counterparts, all indoor Cattleya species, and hybrid varieties, need a fairly warm and humid daytime environment.
Depending on species, flower life on potted plants can average four to six weeks. Vase life for cut flowers ranks among the shortest of all the genera discussed here, averaging around one week.
Paphiopedilum, pouch flowering orchids native to areas of Asia and the Pacific Ocean, often go by the name Paphs for short, or sometimes Lady Slippers.
In their native areas, most species are terrestrial, growing and flowering on a regular cycle. Their sturdy green or mottled leaves, unique looking flowers and ease of indoor growing make them popular house plants.
The Path Urbanianum in the picture is native to the Philippines, and grows on low lying tropical forest floors. Like many Paphs, it grows a single flower.
One added advantage of unifloral paphs is their long floral life. Enthusiasts around the Internet report on their flowers remaining in bloom and healthy for up to six months. Most species have a shorter vase life as cut flowers, averaging one to two weeks.
Cymbidium orchids, native to mountainous areas of the tropical Pacific are an especially popular group among cut orchid enthusiasts because of their extended vase life. With proper care, some species retain their form and color up to six weeks.
Like other tropical orchids, they bloom in warm, sunny climates. However, they are also more cold tolerant that other tropical orchids, growing in areas where winter temperatures hover in the 40oF range.
Many areas of coastal Southern California provide optimal Cumbidium growing conditions, and residents often rear them as outdoor garden plants.
With over twelve thousand identified Dendrobium species, the only way to simplify growing tips is by comparing them with other tropical species such as the Phals. Generally, they thrive in warm, moderately sunny and humid rooms. They also require cooler night time temperatures.
Flowers grow on canes surrounded by green leaves. The picture shows one of the more hairy species, Dendrobium finisterrae, a native of Papua New Guinea.
Depending on the species, Dendrobium flowers can remain on the plant up to six weeks, making them a popular house plant. Most species have an average vase life as cut flowers, retaining their freshness up to two weeks.
The links in the box at the top right hand side of the page point to articles covering North American orchids generally, along with more detailed information on coralroot and fringed orchid species.
© 2006-2012 Patricia A. Michaels