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Introduction to Orchids...101 (Part 2)


The three pages were designed to provide an "orchid pre-primer" to those who have limited knowledge of orchids and want introductory information.  Perhaps, more experienced orchid enthusiasts might find interesting facts, as well.  


The source for this information was Wikipedia (Wiki Website) which is a collaboratively edited, multilingual, free-access, free content Internet encyclopedia that is supported and hosted by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation and owned by Wikimedia Foundation.  Please note that each section is notated by the use of a linking button to each specific Wikipedia webpage as a means of referencing the source.


The EALOC publisher/editor extracted basic information and photographs from Wikipedia about each of nine orchid groups for this EALOC website.  Next to each title is a button where the reader may want to go to the Wikipedia website for indepth reading regarding each specific orchid group.   



·         Greek enkykleomai ("to encircle"), referring to the lateral lobes of the lip which

               encircle the column.

·         Occurs in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and other regions of the tropical

               Americas and grows in lowland forests at altitudes up to 1,000 meters.

·         Most of these species are found in seasonally dry forests where the humidity tends

               to remain high throughout the year, though precipitation is infrequent,

               sometimes lacking for months. They are most common in dry oak forests.

·         Most species have stiff, drought-resistant leaves and large onion-

               shaped pseudobulbs.

·         Many are cultivated as ornamental plants.

·         Flowers may last over a month.

·         Easily overwatered and require only a periodic misting during the winter.

·         Have continuously growing rhizomes that eventually create a large mass.  In

               cultivation, growers will divide them by hand to prevent the plants from forming

               unwieldy mounds.  An exception is Encyclia tampensis which does well in a

               mounded form and does not need to be divided.



·         First described by Olof Swartz in 1800 with the orchid Oncidium altissimum,

               which has become the type species.

·         Name derived from the Greek word onkos, meaning "swelling" and refers to the

               callus at the lower lip.

·         Widespread from northern Mexico, the Caribbean, and some parts of

               South Florida

               (one species) to South America and usually in seasonally dry areas.

·         Most species are epiphytes (grows in trees), although some are lithophytes (grows

                in or on rocks) or terrestrials.

·         Characterized by the presence of column wings, presence of a complicated callus

                on the lip, pseudobulbs with one to three leaves, and several basal bracts at the

                base of the pseudobulbs.

·            Flowers come in shades of yellow, red, white and pink.  Petals are often ruffled on
                 the edges, as is the lip. The lip is enormous, partially blocking the small petals
                 and sepals.

·         Genus name established by Ernst Hugo Heinrich Pfitzer in 1886.

·         Derived from Paphos (a city in Cyprus, a place sacred to Aphrodite and ancient

               Greek pedilon "slipper".   Ironically, no paphiopedilum is found on Cyprus.

               Often called the “Venus slipper”.

·         Native to Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, southern China, New

               Guinea and the Solomon and Bismarck Islands.

·         Naturally occurs among humus layers as terrestrials on the forest floor, while a few                 are true epiphytes (grows in trees) and some are lithophytes (grows in or on


·         Lack pseudobulbs and, instead, grow robust shoots, each with several leaves.

·         Commonly referred to as the "lady's-slippers" or "slipper orchids" due to the

                unusual shape of the pouch-like labellum of the flower. 

·         Pouch traps insects seeking nectar. 

·         Never been successfully cloned for unknown reasons, thus, every plant is unique.

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Introduction, Part 3

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