Interesting orchid facts
Orchids are highly extraordinary plants – some species can grow for as long as 100 years. Furthermore, orchids have over 25, 000 species documented so far. With that much types, it is not surprising that there are a few astonishing facts about them, which you don’t know.
Aside from zones with too much heat or cold, they can grow anywhere on this planet and researcher are finding more species as each day pass by. In addition to the fact that this diverse genus is one the most established genus in existence since it has learned to adapt and grow in almost any conditions and atmospheres over the globe. As per orchidologist, the biggest family of orchid is Orchidaceae, which contains about 880 genera and 21,950 – 26,049 species, making it the largest group of blooming plants. This implies that the amount of orchid species is 4 x bigger than the number of vertebrates and 4 x the number of birds.
The Orchid Essentials
Orchids can be classified into 2 primary types: epiphytes and terrestrials. The CIOS (Cape and Islands Orchids Society) explained that while terrestrials have deep and expansive root systems, epiphytes have root systems that are found uncovered above the soil since that is the main way they can have access to required nutrients. Until specialists came to fathom the manner in which epiphytes develop, those orchids were viewed as parasitic since they frequently lock onto different plants. Orchids also have types such as lithophytic orchids, which are found growing on rocks, and saprophytic orchids, which get necessary nutrients from rotten or dead things in the environment.
Additionally, the CIOS reported that there is a specific bug that is needed for pollination of each species of orchid. The reproductive parts of orchids are brilliantly colored and shaped in an interesting way with the goal that they may pull in those bugs and entice them into a landing, touch the pollen and fly away to transport it somewhere else.
You can only truly see the seeds of orchids with a microscope. The size of a seed is practically identical to a dust speck, and it contains no nutrients since it does not contain endosperm. For the seed to germinate, it needs to make contact with a particular fungus.
The Orchid History
Researchers are not really certain about the evolution of orchids, though they have a rough estimate from a bumblebee. Actually, they found orchid pollen on a fossilized bee covered in covered in amber. The fossil of the bee fossil was resolved to be about 10-15 million years of age. But an orchid expert, Tom Mirenda told the source that specialists are sure that this family existed earlier than that – maybe even before the division of continents into their current arrangement. The explanation behind this conviction is that orchids that are closely related have been discovered several miles away from one another.
People were obsessed about orchids in 1838 till 1910, at the pinnacle of the Victorian era. The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (LGBG) revealed that there were real hunters who made trips to remote territories around the world hunting explicitly down these flowers. They tried really hard to retrieve them. They even had to face furious local people and authorities. The good news is that their efforts were not futile. During that period, a single shipment has a value of about 80 thousand dollars.
There were a huge number of acclaimed orchid hunters since the beginning, however, Benedict Roezl was one of the most well-known ones. LGBG discovered that he gathered and identified almost 800 new species of flowers during his time.
Let our expert florist talk about some of the stunning facts about this extraordinary flower, which you will find intriguing
- The genus of orchids originated from “Orchis” that comes from the old Greek word meaning “testicle”; due to the shape of the root. The word “orchid”, which is the shortened family name Orchidaceae, was only introduced in 1845.
- There’s still such a great amount to be found out about these charming blooms. The Kew Royal Botanic Gardens reported that somewhere in the range of 200 and 300 new species are being discovered each year, and there might be up to 5,000 unknown species.
- The species of the orchids determine the flower size. They can come as small or extremely big, with a weight of over 100 pounds. Grammatophyllum produces medium to large orchids, like Grammatophyllum speciosum which is known as the largest orchid species presently. It has pseudobulbscan that can develop as long as 2.6 m. P. jungermannioides, which is the tiniest orchid has a height of 2 mm. These plants can form into giant clusters that weigh between 100 kg to 1 ton. The roots grow in bunches.
- An orchid flower can be divided into equal halves because orchid blossom is bilaterally symmetrical.
- The texture, shape, and size of the leaves are often determined by the environment. Orchids found in the dry environment have huge waxy leaves, while species found growing in a humid and warm environment have slender, prolonged leaves. Some types don’t even have leaves.
- The roots of orchids aren’t normal. They have roots in aerial, tuber or rhizome form.
- Orchids can grow underground, as epiphytes on woody plants and on the soil.
- Some orchid species are a host for parasites. Unlike other plants, they don’t make carbon dioxide and nutrients from the sun. They derive sustenance from parasites that grow in their roots.
- Orchids bond specifically to certain types of bugs. Some have petals with color and shape that resembles female insects to pull in males and enhance pollination. Bee orchid (Ophrys apifera) baits male honey bees with its luring smell and bee-like look. Once the male bee lands on the bloom to mate, it ends up coated in pollen and is sent off to pollinate another orchid it visits.
- Since the pollination is highly-specialized, no insects mean no orchids because there is nothing else to aid pollination in nature.
- Depending on the species, the flowers might last from a couple of hours to half a year.
- Though orchids make millions of tiny seeds, only a few will eventually germinate into a whole plant.
- Orchid seeds don’t have an endosperm which contains supplements required for germination. Because of this fact, all orchids (along with the non-parasitic ones) have a symbiotic relationship with fungi during germination. This can take between a few weeks to 16 years.
- People have different uses for orchids. Substances extracted from orchids are being used to make spices, fragrances, and by Asians, in traditional medicine.