11.10.10

A Few Facts About Orchids

Since orchids have taken over my life right now, I've done some reading about them. Here are some surprising facts I found.

- Orchids are believed to be the oldest flower in the world. To verify it we would have to risk getting stepped on by dinosaurs--yes, they are that old.

- Orchids are the second largest family of plants. There are four times as many varieties of orchids as there are of mammals--and there are a lot of mammals.

- Most orchids are found in the tropics, but they can be found north of the Arctic Circle or in the mountains above tree line.

- Orchids can be as big as the Giant Orchid with a bulb 10 feet wide or can be so tiny it takes a magnifying glass to see the blooms. -->

- Orchids can grow in soil, in swamps or even in the air. Many varieties attach themselves to trees and collect water with their exposed spongy roots.

- The world’s most popular flavor comes from the pods of the Vanilla Orchid of Mexico

- The Victorians started the modern orchid trade, exploring the world to bring back orchids for greenhouses.

- Some orchids attract pollinators with sweet smells but some use bad smells. After all, flies work as well as bees for pollinating.

- Some orchids are far more devious. They will disguise themselves as female insects, complete with pheromones to attract males. The duped Romeo will then visit another orchid, taking the pollen to it that the first bloom smeared on him. All the lovesick insect gets from his assistance is a nasty surprise. It’s believed one third of all orchids use this trick. (Bit underhanded if you ask me.)

- Florida has over a hundred varieties of orchids still in existence. Heaven knows how many disappeared when man began destroying their habitat.

1 comment:

Rebecca Camarena said...

I don't get out to the blog as much as I want. I could read this all day, however, really enjoy the tweets.