Color plate from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der NaturNeottia nidus-avis, a myco-heterotrophCattleya aclandiae. Note the typical zygomorphic flower with three petal-like sepals (top, lower right, lower left), two normal petals on either side and  the labellumOrchis lactea showing the two tubers
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Orchids

Orchidaceae, also called the Orchid family, is the largest family of the flowering plants (Angiospermae). Its name is derived from the genus Orchis. more...

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The Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew list 880 genera and nearly 22,000 accepted species, but the exact number is unknown (perhaps as many as 25,000) because of taxonomic disputes. The number of orchid species equals about four times the number of mammal species, or more than twice the number of bird species. It also encompasses about 6–11% of all seed plants. About 800 new orchid species are added each year. The largest genera are Bulbophyllum (2,000 species), Epidendrum (1,500 species), Dendrobium (1,400 species) and Pleurothallis (1,000 species). The family also includes the Vanilla (the genus of the vanilla plant), Orchis (type genus) and many commonly cultivated plants like some Phalaenopsis or Cattleya.

Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species in the 19th century, horticulturists have more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.

Distribution

Orchidaceae are cosmopolitan, occurring in almost every habitat apart from deserts and glaciers. The great majority are to be found in the tropics, mostly Asia, South America and Central America. They are found above the Arctic Circle, in southern Patagonia and even on Macquarie Island, close to Antarctica.

The following list gives a rough overview of their distribution:

  • tropical America: 300 to 350 genera
  • tropical Asia: 250 to 300 genera
  • tropical Africa: 125 to 150 genera
  • Oceania: 50 to 70 genera
  • Europe and temperate Asia: 40 to 60 genera
  • North America: 20 to 30 genera

Taxonomy

This family is totally recognised, and the APG II system of 2003 places it in the order Asparagales.

The taxonomy of this family is in constant flux, as new studies continue to identify more classificatory elements.

Five subfamilies are now recognised. The cladogram has been made according to the APG system:

Ecology

Neottia nidus-avis, a myco-heterotrophRead more at Wikipedia.org


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Dendrobium discolor species Orchid PlantDendrobium discolor species Orchid Plant $17.50 pleurothalis restrepoides 'dragonstone'pleurothalis restrepoides 'dragonstone' $8.00
2bulbs of Pleione limprichtii with flower spike2bulbs of Pleione limprichtii with flower spike $9 00006000 .99 Bin) Goldenzelle 'Golden Sapphire' x Delta Mist Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" PotBin) Goldenzelle 'Golden Sapphire' x Delta Mist Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" Pot $10.00
Calanthe vestita species Orchid PlantCalanthe vestita species Orchid Plant $21.50 'Sale' Photo-album(book) 'The photograph collection of Furan' Neofinetia falcata'Sale' Photo-album(book) 'The photograph collection of Furan' Neofinetia falcata $39.99
Bin) Willette Wong 'The Best' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" PotBin) Willette Wong 'The Best' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" Pot $9.50 Bin)Blc Joann Yukimura 'Carmela' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" PotBin)Blc Joann Yukimura 'Carmela' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" Pot $8.00
Orchid Plant Cattleya Nobilior - Bare RootOrchid Plant Cattleya Nobilior - Bare Root $50.00 Grcym. Pakkret Adventure #1 spike forming orchid plantGrcym. Pakkret Adventure #1 spike forming orchid plant $15.00
Bin) Motte Spot 'Paradise' x Hilo Grand 'Yuki' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" PotBin) Motte Spot 'Paradise' x Hilo Grand 'Yuki' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" Pot $9.50 Zygonisia Fragrant Orchid Plant Intergeneric No BloomZygonisia Fragrant Orchid Plant Intergeneric No Bloom $24.00
Bin)Blc Haruko Kanzaki 'Volcano Queen' Cattleya Orchid PlantBin)Blc Haruko Kanzaki 'Volcano Queen' Cattleya Orchid Plant $17.00 #26- Ball Of Epidendrum magnoliae (conopseum) orchid -Cold Frost Tolerant .#26- Ball Of Epidendrum magnoliae (conopseum) orchid -Cold Frost Tolerant . $75.00
Orchid Plant Brassavola Digbyana - Bare RootOrchid Plant Brassavola Digbyana - Bare Root $35.00 Orchid specie plants Dendrobium lawesii bicolor 1 Plant (rare orchids species)Orchid specie plants Dendrobium lawesii bicolor 1 Plant (rare orchids species) $19.99
Bin) Tutkanamen 'Pop' x C. Horace 'Maxima' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" PotBin) Tutkanamen 'Pop' x C. Horace 'Maxima' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" Pot $10.00 Orchid Plant Brassia (Brown spotted flower) - Bare RootOrchid Plant Brassia (Brown spotted flower) - Bare Root $13.00
Paph. Shin-Yi Heart x (Hsinying Macasa x Hsinying Web) Orchid Plant in budPaph. Shin-Yi Heart x (Hsinying Macasa x Hsinying Web) Orchid Plant in bud $16.50 Oncidium Jiuhbao Gold Nn orchid blooming size Free Shipping Dancing LadyOncidium Jiuhbao Gold Nn orchid blooming size Free Shipping Dancing Lady $29.99
Orchid Plant Brassavola Nodosa - Fragrant - Bare RootOrchid Plant Brassavola Nodosa - Fragrant - Bare Root $25.00 Vuyl. Carnivale 'Rio' Orchid PlantVuyl. Carnivale 'Rio' Orchid Plant $8.50
Laelia lobata ‘Elle’ Cattleya Orchid Very Select Original DivisionLaelia lobata ‘Elle’ Cattleya Orchid Very Select Original Division $29.00 multi purpose orchid potting soil mix ( 7x7x6 box) for phalaenopsis cattleyamulti purpose orchid potting soil mix ( 7x7x6 box) for phalaenopsis cattleya $20.99
2 - Cymbidium Valerie Absolonova 'Ruby Lip' spiking orchid plants2 - Cymbidium Valerie Absolonova 'Ruby Lip' spiking orchid plants $25.00 2 plants Paphiopedilum hangianum Bloom Size2 plants Paphiopedilum hangianum Bloom Size $40.00
Orchid Plant Oncidium Yellow Flower With Spot - Bare RootOrchid Plant Oncidium Yellow Flower With Spot - Bare Root $15.00 Blc. (Jong Jou 'Kudos Golden Dragon' x Chunyeah 'Tzeng-Wen Beauty') Orchid PlantBlc. (Jong Jou 'Kudos Golden Dragon' x Chunyeah 'Tzeng-Wen Beauty') Orchid Plant $16.50
Orchid Species Cattleya Nobilior - Bare RootOrchid Species Cattleya Nobilior - Bare Root $50.00 Bin) Blc Hawaiian Leopard 'Mei Ling' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" PotBin) Blc Hawaiian Leopard 'Mei Ling' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" Pot $9.00
Cyrtorchis chailluana species Orchid PlantCyrtorchis chailluana species Orchid Plant $16.50 Dgmra. Winter Wonderland 'White Fairy' spiking orchid plantDgmra. Winter Wonderland 'White Fairy' spiking orchid plant $15.00
Bin) Lc Magic Bell 'Peach Parfait' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" PotBin) Lc Magic Bell 'Peach Parfait' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" Pot $9.50 Bin)Blc Blanche Aisaka 'Yuki' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" PotBin)Blc Blanche Aisaka 'Yuki' Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2" Pot $9.00
V. (varakorn x merrilli) 'Carmela' fragrant budding orchid plantV. (varakorn x merrilli) 'Carmela' fragrant budding orchid plant $16.00 B Sale! 2Lead Bs Fragrant Cattleya guttata coerulea Spots Blue Orchid SpeciesB Sale! 2Lead Bs Fragrant Cattleya guttata coerulea Spots Blue Orchid Species $24.99
Bin) Pot(Miya's Radiance x Fred Stewart) Carmela Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2 PotBin) Pot(Miya's Radiance x Fred Stewart) Carmela Cattleya Orchid Plant 2 1/2 Pot $9.00 8' Ultimate Orchid Basket w/24' Wire Hanger (3 Pack) Sophie's Orchids8' Ultimate Orchid Basket w/24' Wire Hanger (3 Pack) Sophie's Orchids $15.95
Cattleya labiata 'Tipo' x sib species Orchid Plant - Lot of 5Cattleya labiata 'Tipo' x sib species Orchid Plant - Lot of 5 $24.20 Orchid Dendrobium Anosmum - Bare RootOrchid Dendrobium Anosmum - Bare Root $30.00
Phalaenopsis Hannover Passion Orchid PlantPhalaenopsis Hannover Passion Orchid Plant $18.75 B Super Sale! Fragrant Huge Whites Cattleya Burdein Wonder x Ruth Gee OrchidB Super Sale! Fragrant Huge Whites Cattleya Burdein Wonder x Ruth Gee Orchid $2.75
Panarica (Encyclia) prismatocarpaPanarica (Encyclia) prismatocarpa $15.00 Ionopsis utricularioides species Orchid PlantIonopsis utricularioides species Orchid Plant $11.50
bulboohyllum lobbii 'kathys gold'bulboohyllum lobbii 'kathys gold' $15.00 Orchid plant Sharry Baby, the Chocolate orchid / Fragrant In spike- Bare RootOrchid plant Sharry Baby, the Chocolate orchid / Fragrant In spike- Bare Root $27.00
bulbophyllum saurosephalumbulbophyllum saurosephalum $15.00 Laelia tenebrosa species Orchid PlantLaelia tenebrosa species Orchid Plant $18.75
Orchid Plant Brassavola Nodosa - Bare RootOrchid Plant Brassavola Nodosa - Bare Root $25.00 Bin A2994 Brassavola Nodosa 2 1/2' Pot S639Bin A2994 Brassavola Nodosa 2 1/2' Pot S639 $25.98
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Prices current as of last update, 11/17/17 6:28am.

See also...
Cattleya Orchid, Orchids, Plants, Seeds & Bulbs, Gardening & Plants
Orchid Plant, Orchids, Plants, Seeds & Bulbs, Gardening & Plants

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