All about the orchid

Today, it’s all about the orchid.  The orchid genus Orchidacea is old, widespread, diverse and prolific. Along with the Asteraceae, it is one of the two largest families of flowering plants in the whole wide world. Not only that, but Orchids are also big big big in the wide world of interior design. No self respecting reality TV renovation show reveal would be seen dead without one.

I am heading straight to are five interesting Orchid facts about courtesy of Live Science:

Fact 1 – There are currently more than 25,000 documented species of orchid and that number is growing in two ways. Scientists and horticulturalists are identifying new species with more to come, particularly in topical areas of the world. Horticulturalists also hybridize the orchid to create species that wouldn’t occur in nature.

Fact 2 – Orchids have a symmetry similar to human faces and it’s that the symmetry which most likely makes people so fond of them. If a line is drawn vertically down the middle of the flower, the two halves are mirror images of each other.

Fact 3 – Orchids deceive insects into pollinating them. and it’s all a bit titillating. The reproductive parts of many orchid flowers are shaped and coloured to look like the kind of insect they hope to attract. Once attracted, the orchid’s pollen sticks to the insect until it flies off to find another orchid that it mistakes for a mate.

Fact 4 – According to a 2007 Study from the journal Nature, Pollen from an ancient orchid was found on the back of a bee encased in amber. The fossil was dated to around 10 million or 15 million years ago. Other research dates some species of orchid to around 120 million years ago, before the continents split into their current form.

Fact 5 – Vanilla is an Orchid and who doesn’t love the scent of vanilla? The vanilla orchids form a flowering plant genus of about 110 species in the orchid family, the most widely known member of which is the flat-leaved vanilla which is native to Mexico, and which is used for commercial vanilla flavouring.

I regularly buy Orchids at the main flower market. They last and last and last, so they represent great value for money. I love to use fresh flowers as gift wrapping embellishment and the orchid is super for that purpose. The flowers are quite striking, so you don’t need much else. That’s why I have opted for a plain gloss paper adorned with some beautiful purple orchids. I could use orchids every day on my wraps and given there are over 25 000 documented species, it will be a long time before there are any double ups!

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