Flower Guide: The Orchid

The Orchid family of flowering plants consists of more than 21,000 known species, making it the second largest family of plants next to the asters. People can find orchids in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors in many different environments. Orchids usually have decorative, three-petaled flowers. In fact, the middle petal looks the most extravagant as it differs in its shape and color. Orchids are natives of the tropics; however, they occur in a variety of natural environments throughout the world, except in areas affected by extreme climates. Many people have encountered orchids while walking in national parks, or simply out among city limits. In fact, many people can find the most decorative native species in the pine and oak forests located in the northernmost regions of the United States. Orchid enthusiasts may love these flowering plants to the point of creating their own orchid gardens in their very backyards.

Orchid Basics

  • Basic Orchid Culture: The American Orchid Society describes the basic necessities of orchid culture, including the amount of light, water, air, and fertilizer the plant needs to survive.
  • Orchid Culture - General Information: Saint Augustine Orchid Society provides general information on orchids, including orchid growing for beginners, pest control, disease prevention, and soil management.
  • Orchids 101 (PDF): A comprehensive beginner's guide that teaches when to water, fertilize, re-pot, and divide orchids.
  • All About Orchids: A fact sheet that covers important information about all orchid species.
  • Types of Orchids

  • Genera in Orchidaceae: A long list of plants that belong to the Orchidaceae genus of flowering plants.
  • Orchidaceae Juss: A comprehensive resource that provides all of the necessary information on the genus Orchidaceae Juss, including its habitat, leaf form, general anatomy, floral, seed, and fruit morphology, physiology, and taxonomy.
  • Flora of North America: Orchidaceae Jussieu: An organization that provides an extensive plant profile on the genus Orchidaceae Jussieu.
  • Oncidium Orchids: The Union County College provides statistical plant profile on the oncidium orchid.
  • Orchid Collection: The Smithsonian Gardens Collection offers downloadable files that provide information on six different types of orchids, including phalaenopsis, cymbidium, paphiopedilums, lycastes, oncidiums, and dendrobium.
  • Orchidaceae: Orchid Family: Aggie Horticulture offers a brief introduction on the different types of Orchidaceae available on the market.
  • The Moth Orchid: An educational resource introducing the moth orchid.
  • Growing Tips and Guides

  • Growing Orchids: The University of Illinois offers home horticultural tips for growing orchids.
  • You Too Can Grow Orchids: An article that provides sound advice on growing orchids in a residential backyard.
  • Growing Orchids in the Home (PDF): The University of Tennessee offers an extensive home horticultural guide for growing orchids.
  • Orchid Care Guide (PDF): A professional horticulturist offers advice for properly caring for various kinds of orchids.
  • Orchid Care for Beginners: A beginner's guide with six lesson plans that instill sound knowledge on caring for orchids.
  • Orchid Transplant Guide (PDF): A comprehensive guide focused on orchid transplantation.
  • Organizations

  • Orchid Conservation Coalition: The Orchid Conservation Coalition offers an extensive list of non-profit organizations interesting in the conservation of orchids.
  • Native Orchid Conservation, Inc: A non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of native orchids in their natural habitats.
  • Orchid Conservation International: An internationally based orchid conservation organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding of restoring and preserving orchids in their natural environment.
  • The Cymbidium Society of America: A non-profit organization founded in 1946 that aims to extend the appreciation of cymbidiums and paphiopedilums.
  • Peninsula Orchid Society: A non-profit organization consisting of about 250 orchid enthusiasts.
  • The Slipper Orchid Alliance: A membership-based organization dedicated to the education of lady-slipper orchids.
  • Other Orchid Resources

  • Growing Orchids in Florida (PDF): A comprehensive guide that helps Florida residents growing orchids in less than ideal soil.
  • The New York Botanical Society: A small photo gallery of cultivated orchid gardens by the New York Botanical Society.
  • Orchid Hunter: The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) investigates the ever-growing passion for orchids.
  • The San Francisco Orchid Society: A non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of orchids in the San Francisco area.
  • Orchid Species Photographs: Eric Hunter, an avid photographer and orchid enthusiast, shares his collection of photographs of the various orchid species.
  • The Triangle Orchid Society: An organization dedicated to the admiration and conservation of orchids around the world.
  • Author : Paul Mousseline