Orchids - Types along with other Orchid Basics1390577
There are a lot of big numbers floating around when it comes to orchid types nevertheless the answer to the question "how many types of orquideas exist?" is actually three. Yep, three. You will find epiphyte orchids, terrestrial orchids and saprophytic orchids.
Epiphyte is not a word restricted to orchids: there are numerous epiphyte plants. It just means that they grow attached with something, usually a tree. Epiphyte orchids are amazingly self-sufficient. Their roots absorb water and then release it slowly to the rest of the plant making it possible for the orchid to live dry periods as well as wet ones. They also do not take their nourishment from the tree where they are residing. They've fleshy roots that reach over the bark of the tree. Over time organic matter accumulates in the space between their roots as well as the tree. This can be turned into nutrients for that orchid.
Terrestrial orchids grow with their roots in your yard. This is a unique trait because soil is extremely damaging to many orchids which is quite attractive for all those wanting an "orchid garden".
As with most parts of society, there are exceptions. Orchids can be "semi-terrestrial" meaning they actually do grow in the earth but have aerial roots too.
You will not hear much about saprophytic orchids within the horticulture community. Most people, especially novice gardeners do not know they exist due to the fact there are very few, they are difficult to grow and often are not very attractive. The trait that sets them apart is that they live away from decayed vegetation.
Genera, Species, and Hybrids
While all orchids fall under one of the above categories, horticulturists have further classified these plants into genera and species. A genus (the singular of genera) can be a natural grouping of closely related yet distinct species. This can also determine an orchid's name. The first word within the name of your type of orchid is usually its genus. For instance, one absolutely gorgeous orchid is commonly known as the "Pink Butterfly" orchid nevertheless its official name is Phalaenopsis schilleriana. Phalaenopsis will be the name from the genus. There are 600 genera of orchids. On this example, schilleriana is the name of the species. There are between 25,000 and 30,000 distinct species currently known.
Hybrid is, obviously a common word indicating (inside the instance of orchids) an offspring of two "parents" from various species or genera. It's not common for orchids from two different genera to unite however it does happen. In nature, when orchids from two different species unite they frequently produce a superior offspring. This really is, of course, part of the natural process as these plants are constantly trying to maintain their survival; producing stronger root systems and flowers even more attractive to the pollinators they require.
Hybrids do, needless to say, happen in a domestic capacity as gardeners and horticulturists shoot for an even more beautiful specimen. There are over 100,000 known orchid hybrids.
Types of Orchids
We've covered the technical aspect but the fun part is discussing the varieties of orchids, their colors, shapes and, (i think, most interesting) smell. The colors seem to be limitless. Each species can have a wide range of single or multi-colored flowers. The shapes tend to be quite distinct. Each genus features its own, unique characteristics however, many are more easily recognized. For instance, there is an orchid shaped just like a star. One has two little petals at the top resembling donkey ears and is commonly known as the "donkey orchid". One orchid looks like spiders. Other great tales.
Orchid smell is where it gets interesting. Did you know some orchids only produce a scent at night? Some don't produce any at all. Some smell of heaven. Some don't. Seriously, though, there are some orchids well known for their terrible smell. However there are some which have a wonderful floral smell, some that give an impression of chocolate or cinnamon, even the one that smells like gumballs.