January 19, 2010

Types of Orchids

Orchid Types - Several Popular Orchid Species and Their Types

By Dave Jonson

Of all the families of flowering plants, the orchid family is the largest. There are so many different types, with so many weird Latin names that it can be overwhelming. Broadly, there are two main types: there are orchids that grow in the ground, or "terrestrials", and orchids that grow in trees, or "epiphytes", or between rocks, "lithophytes". In this article I'll briefly discuss a few of the most popular orchids within these categories.

Cymbidiums, also known as boat orchids, are one of the larger types of orchid, sometimes growing up to 3.5 feet, which makes them quite majestic. They are one of my favorite types of orchid. They bloom during winter, and can cope better than other orchids with cooler temperatures. Cymbidiums come in a variety of colors, such as white, cream, pink, red, yellow, green, and brown. In the right environment they can flower for two months, but if they're too dry and hot they can lose their flowers in days. They make good houseplants.

Most paphiopedilums are terrestrial, but some can be epiphytes or lithophytes. They are also known as paphs or lady's slippers, due to a pouch that insects fall into and have to climb out of, which helps pollinate the orchid. It usually blooms for about four weeks, around the turn of the year. I personally like the look of them, but some people don't like the pouch.

Epiphytes And Lithophytes
Phalaenopsis is a group of orchids, also called phals or moth orchids. There are probably the most popular type of orchid today. Their flowers are long lasting, sometimes for over two months, and come in all sorts of colors, like white, pink, purple, yellow, and orange, with various patterns, from spotted to stripped. I think this selection, along with their elegance accounts for their popularity and why they're commonly seen at weddings. These orchids are also easy to grow indoors, and for someone interested in growing orchids, they are a good starting point.

Dendrobiums are one of the largest families of orchids, with approximately 1,200 different species. As you may expect, they come in many different colors such as white, lavender, pink, purple, green, yellow, and more. When they bloom around mid-august they can have over 24 blooms, which can last over six weeks. I think their flowers are really attractive.


  1. Cymbidium orchid is one of the semi-terrestrial orchid types. Aside from growing on the ground, cymbidiums can also grow on rocks and trees. An environment with rotten woods, decayed leaves, and loose humus is good for growing cymbidiums. They thrive in Southeast Asia, Japan and Australia, in their natural habitat. It is very easy to grow, and this is the reason behind its popularity especially for those who are just beginning to learn how to grow orchids. It can be very flowery when properly taken care of. http://www.growingorchidsonline.com/orchid-types/

  2. Also may I add that an orchid can either be a terrestrial orchid, or an epiphyte orchid. Knowing and learning about these two types can help you know what kind of orchid to choose, especially if you are just starting to learn how to cultivate orchids. This can also help you understand how to take proper care of them. Knowing how to take care of them will make it easier for you to grow orchid flowers. http://ezinearticles.com/?There-Are-Only-Two-Types-of-Orchids-That-Are-Right-For-You!&id=4929097