The Orchid Recovery Center is your online portal to orchid conservation and preservation. Our mission is to make individuals and communities aware of all the endangered and rare orchid species around the world and within their surrounding ecosystems; then connect them with the resources they need to help protect these unique flower. Find out about ways to take action through volunteering, donating to causes or joining your local orchid society. The Orchid Recovery Center is more than that though – We also provide you with plenty of other types of orchid information such as caring for your orchids or what the history of orchids are. Finally, if you have a resource on orchid recovery, protection or care, let us know about it and we will add it to our resources.
Whether you’re perusing the flowers at your local grocery store, the outdoor department at the hardware store, or you’ve visited a neighborhood nursery, you’ve undoubtedly seen the petals of the orchid flower. Orchid flowers have become extremely popular to display and give as gifts because of their unique visual appeal. In many ways, the flowers are art pieces. What you may not know is the orchid flower is not just a beautiful visual element, but also the subject of a number of scientific studies. The earliest of these studies involved the naming and classification of the orchid plant and general anatomical studies. Charles Darwin even conducted further research into orchid reproduction and hybridization in order to show the evolution of the flower.
History of the Orchid
Anatomy of an Orchid
Like all plants and animals, a number of factors determine the anatomical structure of an orchid. The purpose or function of the species, ease of reproduction and climate it can be found in are probably the three main aspects that determine how the orchid evolves, and they often all work together. Certain anatomical elements are common in every species of orchid, for example:
- Every species has at least one bulbous root from which the stem or stems, leaves, flowers and by extension, seeds grow.
- Some orchid plants have stems that grow quite large, while others remain smaller.
- The shape and appearance of the leaves on an orchid can tell you not only what type of orchid they are, but also where they’re found.
- Even the type of petals on an orchid flower is determined by the function the plant is performing and how it’s evolved over time.
- Orchids that have multiple root bulbs or that grow closer to the ground might illustrate this evolutionary change.
- A flower on an orchid that’s more closed off can be an adaptation as well, since it’s likely protecting its seeds for pollination in a different climate.
The physical anatomy of the orchid can determine what type of reproduction it will require, but if the orchid is growing in a climate that’s unfavorable to normal pollination, it must also evolve to remain alive. Asexual or self-pollination can be considered responses to that evolutionary need.
Where You Can Find Orchids?
An orchid’s ability to adapt doesn’t just help it survive; it helps it survive in different areas. The orchid’s natural habitat is considered to be a place with a tropical or subtropical climate, meaning it can be found abundantly in places like Brazil, Ecuador, Hawaii, Taiwan and even parts of California. This doesn’t mean you cannot find orchids in other locations, though, as certain species can be found as far south as Antarctica and as far north as the Arctic Circle. This helps to prove the idea that the plant can adapt to other climates with subtle changes to their anatomy throughout the generations. Even scientific experimentation with hybridization can change how an orchid will survive in a different climate.
Not everyone agrees with moving orchids from their traditional climates. Conservation groups throughout the world try to stress that orchids should remain where they are instead of being taken elsewhere to grow; especially rare and endangered orchids. In doing so, the goal is to encourage orchids to thrive on their own without scientific involvement.