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Introduction to Orchids...101 (Part 3)


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.    



·         Generic name probably a reference to the genus Phalaena, the name given

               by Carl Linnaeus to a group of large moths.

·         Known as the Moth Orchid and is one of the most popular orchids in the trade,

               through the development of many artificial hybrids.

·         Native to southern China, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia (Thailand,

               Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, et. al.), New Guinea, the Bismark Archipelago

               and Queensland.

·         Most are epiphytic (grows in trees) shade plants; a few are lithophytes (grows in or

               on rocks).  In the wild, some species grow below the canopies of moist and                          humid lowland forests, protected against direct sunlight; others grow in                              seasonally dry or cool environments.  They have adapted individually to these

               three habitats.

·         Has neither pseudobulbs nor rhizome,   Has a monopodial (single trunk or stem)

               growth habit.  Blooms appear from the stem between the leaves. and last for

               several weeks.  At home, the flowers may last two to three months.

·         Often produce numerous aerial roots that often hang down in long drapes and

                have green chlorophyll underneath the grey root coverings.



·         Phragmipedium besseae was first found in Peru by Elizabeth Locke Besse in 1981. 

·         Derived from the Greek phragma, which means "division", and pedium, which

               means "slipper" (referring to the pouch).

·          Lady's slipper orchids are found from SW Mexico, Central and tropical South


·         Most are either terrestrial, epiphytic (grows in trees) or lithophytic (grows in or on


·         Shows a unique shieldlike staminode (rudimentary, sterile or abortive stamen,

               which means that it does not produce pollen), long, moustache-like petals and

               a 3-locular ovary. The large pouch-like lip is curved inwards at the margins.

·         Short stemmed and is semi-terrestrial, semi-lithophytic (on rocks) to epiphytic (in



·         Vanilla is a flavor derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the

               Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla.

·         Word derived from the the Spanish word vaina (vaina itself meaning sheath or

               pod), translated as “little pod”.

·         Pollination is required to set the fruit from which the flavoring is derived.  In 1837,

               Belgian botanist Charles François Antoine Morren  pioneered a method of

               artificially pollinating the plant.

·         The various subspecies are grown on Madagascar, Réunion, and other tropical

               areas along the Indian Ocean, South Pacific; and the West Indies, and Central

               and South America.

·         Three major species of vanilla currently are grown globally, all of which derive

               from a species originally found in Mesoamerica, including parts of modern-

               day Mexico. 

·         Second most expensive spice after saffron.

·         Grows as a vine, climbing up an existing tree (also called a tutor), pole, or other


·          A simple and efficient artificial hand-pollination method was developed by a 12-

               year-old slave named Edmond Albius on Réunion, a method still used today.

·         Flower lasts about one day.

·         Reproduced the plant by cutting and removing sections of the vine with six or

               more leaf nodes, a root opposite each leaf. Two lower leaves are removed, and

               buried in loose soil.  Growth is rapid under good conditions.

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