|What's orchid ?|
Orchids or Orchidaceae are family of monocot flowering plants in
the super order Liliiflorae. They are distinct from other flowering
plants because they have:
- their stamens and pistils (male and female parts) fused
together in one structure known as a column
- three petals and three petal-like sepals
- seeds that are tiny a numerous
- usually has one different petal that forms a lip or labellum
making the flower laterally symetrical
- the pollen is usually bound together in a few large masses
known as pollinia
- their flower stem twists around during development Orchids
grow from the Arctic to the Equator and south in all the
continents except Antarctica.
The orchids that orchid
growers are mostly interested in are the tropical epiphytes.
The family of Orchids contains more species than any other
family of plants. Botanists believe the family to contain some
20,000 to 25,000 species. But with the destruction of the
rainforests we are loosing undiscovered species and may
never know the exact number.
Monocots the Monoctyledonae include palms, duckweed, bamboo, grass,
onions, bananas and the members of Liliiflorae.
They have one embryonic seed leaf whereas other flowering plants, the
Dicots have two. Some other their characteristics are:
the leaves are mostly parallel-veined.
usual lacks cambium in the stem
vascular bundles are usual scattered in the stem - no rings as ina tree
Liliiflorae contains not only orchids but lilies, amaryllises and
irises. All these plants develop their seeds in ovaries below theflower.
Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants, usually in forests. By
doing this they gain a better position to obtain more light.
Their roots cling to branches of trees and obtain water only in rain or
fog. Many orchids, bromeliads, ferns, mosses and lichensare epiphytes.