Articles On Orchids

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How to Plant and Grow Orchids


This video shows you how to plant Orchids and grow them in your garden.
Expert:Yolanda Vanveen




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Types of Orchids : Classification of orchids


Orchids can be classified on different criteria. Mainly used criterions for classification of orchids are (1) floral features (2) on how they live and survive.

On the basis of definite floral features, orchids are divided into different orchid tribes. Most interesting types of orchids under this criteria are the Lady’s Slipper orchid tribe, the Rein orchid tribe, the Bird’s Nest orchid tribe and the Tree orchid tribe.


lady's slipper orchidsRein orchids

                 Lady's slipper orchid                              Rein Orchids

According to the way they live and survive, there are three types of orchids.

1. Epiphyte orchids

2. Terrestrial orchids

3. Lithophyte orchids


Epiphyte orchid plants

Orchid plants that have evolved to live upon trees are epiphytes. They are not parasites but merely take advantage of the tree as a support. Epiphyte orchids obtain their nutrients from the moisture in the air and from any debris collected on the branches or beneath mosses where their roots penetrate.

Example of this type of orchids: Sophronitis Coccinea orchids

Scarlet flowers of the epiphytic Sophronitis Coccinea orchid plants sparkle like bright gems on the trees oh high ridges of the Brazilian coastal forest.


Terrestrial orchid plants

These orchid plants grow in the ground and there is hardly any area on Earth where terrestrial orchids have not adapted to grow. They are found in places as diverse as hot dry Australian deserts, to the gentler climates of temperate woodlands, to the very edge of Arctic Circle.


Examples of this type of orchids:

(1) The fragrant Zygopetalum crinitum orchids are found growing under the trees away from the Brazilian sunshine.

(2) Cypripedium calceolus, a lady’s slipper orchid, is a terrestrial orchid found in Europe and North America.

Photo Credit:Noodle snacks           (3) Stenoglottis fimbriata is a terrestrial orchid                                              from South Africa.


Lithophyte orchid plants

These orchid plants take a middle path between the above mentioned two classes. Lithophyte orchids make their home on rocky cliff faces and sometimes on near vertical slopes.

Lithophyte orchid plants obtain their nourishment in a similar way to epiphyte orchids. But they sometime have to withstand longer period of extreme dryness. Extra water and nutrients are obtained from roots that penetrate into the crevices in the rocks.

Examples of this type of orchids: (1) The species cytopodium andersoniae grows mainly on smooth, flat rock surfaces.
(2) Other examples are the pleiones and some species of paphiopedilum.

Exception: Some epiphytes can also become lithophytic when suitable opportunity arises.