February 20, 2009

White Orchids

Orchids get their name from the Greek word "orchis", which means testicle. Orchids have over 17000 species and come in variety of pure colors and combinations. White is the color associated with purity, virtue, and innocence. Hence, white adds a hint of elegance and glam to the orchid flower.Orchids collectively form a family called Orchidaceae, which account for nearly thirty thousand members of the plant kingdom. These flowers grow mainly in the tropics although species are found everywhere except in arid dessert regions. They have been largely domesticated for their monetary value and the orchid trade is today one of the largest profitable botanical vocations in the world. Most of the orchids that are sent across the planet originate in South America, Central America, and Tropical Asia.

Many of the species that are part of this trade are being hybridized to reap in more profits. Although this may be beneficial to national economies, the plant kingdom is suffering as a consequence. Many orchid species are so hybridized that none of the original characteristics are sustained. These hybrid species, though far more sturdy have much shorter life spans and are hard to reproduce. Moreover, these hybrid species, when accidentally released into the wild, slowly wipe out indigenous species through competition.

The greatest sufferer in this race for survival is the white orchid. White is generally a recessive color in the plant kingdom and when white orchids are crossbred with colored ones, there is only a 3:1 chance that the offspring will be white. In fact, most white orchid plants end up with bicolor off springs in their second or third bloom. Naturally, white orchids are generally more abundant on the African continent, although the only pure strain white orchid comes from Thailand. Orchids belonging to the genii Aerangiis, Angraecum, Cyrtorchis, Neobenthamia, and Rangeris are exquisitely white.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Valentino

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