10 Things You Didn’t Know About Orchids

Not only are orchids absolutely beautiful, but they’re also one of the most interesting flowers out there. They may not be as historically significant or popular as roses, but you’ll definitely have a new appreciation for them by the time you’re done reading this article. 

  1. Flower Language Today  

Today, orchids stand for love, luxury, strength, and beauty. This makes a bridal bouquet made of orchids a great option for any bride, and a popular choice as decorative flowers in weddings. 

  1. The Ancient Flower of Virility 

While they mean something completely different today, orchids were considered to represent virility in ancient Greece. The influence of this flower as a symbol for reproductive strength was so great that people thought that if pregnant women ate new orchid tubers, they would give birth to boys. 

  1. Vanilla Comes From Orchids 

You might not have known it before, but orchids are where vanilla comes from! Yes, the vanilla fruit develops from orchids, and this is what gives us that delicious essence that we put into cakes, cookies, and countless other bakery items. 

  1. Orchids Are Colorful 

Orchids come in pretty much every color except for black, but you might have a hard time finding the blue ones – they’re pretty rare. Not only this, but some types of orchids even bloom in two colors on the same bud! 

  1. Orchids Have an Interesting Way to Pollinate 

Some species of orchids pretty much trick insects into pollinating them – they do this by looking like bees themselves, which makes other insects mistake them for fellow insects instead of flowers.

This makes the bees try to mate with the “insects”, and when the bees leave the flower they take some of the pollen along with them. 

  1. They Even Mimic Animals and Birds! 

Orchids aren’t just famous for the way they trick bees – they’re also pretty uncanny when it comes to looking like animals and birds. 

The monkey orchid, the white egret orchid, and the flying duck orchid are all great examples, and there are definitely more. Of course, these are varieties that aren’t commonly used in bouquets, but there’s something to be said for a bouquet full of tiny smiling monkeys – which is what monkey orchids look like. 

  1. How Many Types Are There? 

If you were just thinking about collecting orchids, we’ll have to admit that it’s not a bad idea. With the varieties that bloom in multiple colors and flowers that like to copy animals in terms of looks, the collection would look pretty neat. 

Only, it might take you a while to get the collection together since there are over 25,000 different species of the flower! 

  1. They Are Everywhere 

You might think that orchids probably only grow in certain places, but they actually grow almost everywhere in the world. The only place you won’t find any of it is Antarctica, and we bet they would have found a way to grow there too if it was a little warmer. 

This may also be a reason why there are so many different kinds – they have a lot of room to grow and evolve! 

  1. Orchid Seeds are Tiny 

Orchid seeds are some of the smallest in the world – the average seed is only the size of a speck of dust! One gram orchid seed from the species Aerides Odorata carries about 3.4 million seeds. 

  1. They’re Pretty Tall Plants 

One of the tallest species of orchids, the Sobralia Altissima from Peru, can grow up to 44 feet tall. This isn’t to say that other varieties don’t, but the average orchid plant will grow up to a foot tall.