1. Orchids are the Largest Family of Flowering Plants
Orchids make up the largest family of flowering plants in the world, with over 25,000 varieties of documented species.
In fact, although orchids are considered tropical flowers, they can be found growing on every continent (except Antarctica).
2. Some Orchids Boast Extremely Bizarre Appearances
Depending on their climate, orchids come in nearly every size, shape, and color.
Also, orchids—like humans—sport a bilaterally symmetrical appearance, meaning if you cut them in half vertically, both sides will mirror each other.
3. Orchids and Insects are BFFs
One of the more interesting facts about orchids is the special bond they share with insects—basically, they’re best buds!
In order to woo their insect friends for some much-needed pollination, their petals resemble the colour and shape of female insects. For that reason, male insects love to come in contact with orchid pollen and happily deliver it to the next orchid.
4. Some Orchids are Actually Parasitic
Unfortunately, not all orchid facts can be as flattering as this flower’s appearance! It turns out that, unlike most other flowers, some species of orchids don’t produce food (energy) from sunlight and carbon dioxide. Instead, they get their food from fungi that live and grow inside their roots.
5. Orchids Gave Us Vanilla
Vanilla orchids carry vanilla beans in their pod, which is commercially extracted and used in all kinds of cosmetics and foods.
6. Orchids Get Their Name From the Greek Word for ‘Testicle’… Gross!
A list of orchid flower facts wouldn’t be complete without some mention of how they got their name – so buckle up for a bizarre one. Orchids are well known for being delicate and sophisticated. It’s kind of their thing!
According to Ancient Greeks, orchids resembled the male genitalia – so they named them órkhis, meaning “testicle” (yes, we’re questioning their judgment, too!). For that reason, orchids have long been a symbol of virility, sexuality, and fertility.
7. Orchids are Notoriously Tough to Grow
Due to their incredibly tiny seeds, orchids are super hard to grow and care for. But the good thing is that an orchid pod can contain up to 3 million seeds. So if your first attempt doesn’t work, just try again!
Also, just like their wide variety of shapes, sizes, and appearances, orchids vary widely in lifespan. Some only bloom for a few hours, while others can bloom for as long as six months!
As the orchid facts tell us, these unique blooms aren’t just pretty faces with no substance. They’re awesome and definitely one of our favourite flowers