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Orchid (Orchidaceae), Species, History, Care Features
Orchid (Orchidaceae), Species, History, Care Features

Video: Orchid (Orchidaceae), Species, History, Care Features

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Video: Orchids: History, Types and Care 2023, February

About the exhibition of orchids and agricultural technology of these luxurious plants

The open heavy ancient gates of the Bagatti Valsecchi Palace Museum in Milan invite you to enter a beautiful courtyard with architecture typical of Italy: statues, mosaic floors, huge antique vases. There is only one difference from the traditional style - huge vases are filled with luxurious orchids.


Everything adjusts to a poetic mood, to a meeting with beautiful and unusual flowers. I go in and I can not hold back an exclamation of delight; I understand from the frank smile of the exhibition administrators that I was not the first to react this way to a huge picture on the whole wall, "painted" with living orchids and epiphytic tillandsia.


This is the beginning of the exhibition "Winter Orchids as a Gift". For three days at the exhibition one could admire hundreds of different varieties and hybrids of these amazing flowers. More than five thousand "beauties" were brought from nurseries to participate in an exotic show. It was organized by the Orticoline D'Italii Association, the Orchid Society of Italy and Lazio. The idea of ​​the exhibition was born from the desire to give orchid fans and the general public the opportunity to admire the collections of beautiful and expensive flowers from Italian and foreign breeders. The exhibition featured two collections from France, one from Belgium and two were Italian.

The first exhibition hall amazes with the beauty of its design. An amazing combination of the historical atmosphere of the palace and exotic flowers. The amazing decoration with live orchids, made by the florists at Rattiflora di Como, gives you the opportunity to imagine how these beautiful flowers grow naturally. The orchids presented at the exhibition are mainly epiphytes growing on branches, stumps; they have flowers of various shapes and sizes - from green tones to snow-white, from yellow to light brown with shades of orange and red.

Here are some of the types of orchids on display:


The beauties of Wanda have spread their light "tails" of roots, through which they extract water and nutrients necessary for their life from the air. And here are the small bright yellow-brown "moths" of Oncidium longipes. Here, in a magical flight of papillon butterflies, they directed up their antennae-antennae.

A large bunch of soft lilac flowers (BC mikai majumi) is surprisingly beautiful.

Against the background of bright "tropical" greenery, the flowers of Oncidium twing adorn the bush like precious beads. And these tiny, jewelry leaves of Gastrochilus fuscopunctatus seem to be glued to the stone.

For the first time I see Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann Buckelburry, graceful stalks are beautifully curved around the plant, at the ends of which there are "small clusters" of flowers with red stripes, they descend thin tendrils almost to the very ground. With its scent, this orchid attracts insects. And in the orchid Schomburgkia moyobambe, small flowers, no more than 1 cm, with lacy light brown and pinkish petals froze on a tall thin peduncle, like beautiful sparks of a fairweyr.

The flowers of Sophronitis cernua shone with bright red lights among the small, fleshy, spear-shaped leaves.


Dendrobium (translated from Latin as "flowing on a tree") is one of the most numerous and varied genera of the orchid family. Dendrobium flowers are characterized by “lip protrusion”. The flower shoots can grow both downward of Dendrobium araenii, as bunches, and straight upward of Dendrobium Bracteosu.

The orchid Bulbophillum spatulatum resembles the scales of an outlandish animal.

Unnaturally long - about 1.5 m flexible branches of the snow-white Angraecum longicalcar fascinate, and below, you will not immediately notice, a small Epidendrum porpax and Restrepia guttulata no more than 2 cm grow - 3 cm.

Lycaste is strikingly beautiful with its many flowers. Each winter, the plant sheds its foliage, leaving it only on a young shoot. Her homeland is Mexico, Peru, Brazil.

And now about some of the orchid hybrids on display in the next hall. It is filled with an exquisite aroma, subtle and at the same time with a whole range of shades reminiscent of tropical fruits and oriental spices.


Hybrids of beautiful Cattleya sparkling waves of velvet. These amazing flowers fascinate both breeders and ordinary amateurs with their bright, extraordinary shape flowers, similar to butterflies, bees, spiders, united by love.

A lot of space is reserved for the group of chimbidiums, because winter is the time of their flowering. They are easily recognizable by their long, graceful leaves growing from fairly large bulbs. The homeland of this type of orchid is tropical Asia and Australia.

It is impossible to walk past the beautiful miltonia flowers - they are red, pink, white, decorated with droplets of design. Their homeland is tropical South America.

A huge exhibition stand is occupied by wonderful Odontoglossum hybrids with velvet petals and decorative patterns, they are native to Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.

The colorful family of "shoes" (Paphiopedilum) is also beautiful, but the Phalaenopsis (Phalaenopsis), there are more than 40 species of them. Their flowering is very long lasting, it lasts all winter until spring. They have become very popular, as they are most adapted to home maintenance and are easy to care for.

Legends and a little history


According to one old legend, orchids emerged from fragments of a broken rainbow. Another legend says that they are the slippers lost by Aphrodite, which, falling to the ground, became flowers.

Indeed, the name of the genus of orchids - slippers (Cypripedium) comes from Cyprus (Cyprus) - the birthplace of the sacred goddess Aphrodite (Venus) and pedilon - a slipper.

Ernst Hugo Heinrich Pfitzer repeated this idea, placing shoe orchids from Southeast Asia in the genus Paphiopedilum, the name of which is combined from two words - Paphos is a city in Cyprus where there is a temple dedicated to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, and pedilon - slipper.

For centuries, orchids drove many crazy, forcing the aristocrats of the Old and New Worlds to pay astronomical amounts for their rare flowers at that time. The highest price - 1,150 guineas (£ 1207.50) - was paid by Baron Schroeder to the Sanders family of St Albans for the Odontoglossum crispum orchid (a variety of pittianum).

Special pavilions were built for orchid flowers, where the happy owners hid their treasure from prying eyes.

Excursion to botany


The family of orchids (orchids) is so numerous that one cannot even name the exact number of their varieties, which, nevertheless, have more than 30,000 species of orchids plus more than a thousand registered artificially bred hybrids, and how many unregistered ones!

And despite the fact that there are no “wild” corners left on Earth, more and more new species are constantly found. About 20 can be found in the Alps and the Apennines, the rest mainly grow in tropical, hot zones of Asia, Africa, Oceania.

Most orchids are epiphytic plants that grow in nature on trees, stumps, fallen trunks, clinging to the roots of irregularities and depressions. But among the orchids there are lithophytes growing on the ground, which grow only on rocky slopes and cliffs, on stones.

Orchids vary greatly in appearance, although the structure of the flower is the same for all members of the family: the perianth consists of a lip - usually a beautifully colored large petal, two side petals and three sepals, similar or different in size and color.

Care features


The legend about the difficulties in growing orchids is gradually disappearing. Today, these beautiful flowers reveal their secrets not only to specialists, but also to ordinary amateurs. General requirements are high (80%) air humidity and good illumination.

At home, it is best to grow orchids in "bark", that is, in regular pots, using pieces of bark instead of soil. Pine bark is best suited. The size of the pieces-granules is from 5 to 20 mm - the thicker the roots, the larger the bark. Pieces of bark are poured with boiling water for 10 minutes, washed in a colander from dust, and then dried. Wet them again just before planting a flower.

Another major concern when leaving is helping the plant to bloom again. To do this, it is enough to remove the faded stem about twenty centimeters from the base and, when the heat comes, let the plant "sleep" in the cool, that is, place it for several weeks, months in a cool, semi-dark place.

Orchids, and especially their hybrids, are resistant to pests and rot.

The exhibition, which I was lucky enough to visit, is an event of great interest both for botanical science and an important event in cultural life. The goal of the exhibition and its organizers - to connect people of the planet practically unknown, but united by love for amazing and beautiful orchids, was achieved.

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