A Brief History of Orchids

Orchids are a particularly long-lasting and very elegant flower which makes them the perfect gift for any occasion. Their amazing appearance immediately catches the eye and their reputation as a unique and exotic flower gives them a sense of innocence and refinement. As there are so many different varieties to choose from, and so many different meaning, you can always be sure to find the right orchid to give the desired message for any occasion – from birthdays to weddings, anniversaries to thank yous.

It is estimated that there are over 25,000 different types of Orchids in the natural world today and more and more are being discovered all the time. This makes them the largest family of flowering plants known to man. Although these flowers are normally thought of as a tropical flower, they are in fact extremely adaptable and can be grown in almost any climate, but despite this amazing adaptability they still retain their unique character and beauty. For the layman they are one of the most beautiful flowers and for the scientist or flower expert, they are the most incredibly evolved flowers in the world. The most popular types of orchid are: Phalaenopsis, also known as the Moth, Cymbidium, and Dendrobium, while the most highly produced is the Vanilla orchid, which also gives us the vanilla bean (where the popular flavour comes from).

As already mentioned, orchids have a huge variety of different meanings. For the ancient Greeks these flowers were symbolic of virility and when orchids really started to gain popularity, amongst royalty in Victorian England, they earned their status of a luxurious flower, symbolic of wealth. They were also once believed to have healing properties and were used to attempt to fight disease. For this reason they gained their status as a flower symbolic of strength. The Chinese still believe to this day that orchids can cure respiratory problems and beliefs like this date right back to the ancient Aztecs, who used to drink a mixture of chocolate and vanilla beans to fight disease.

These days orchids are symbolic of delicate, precious and rare beauty. They are the most popular houseplant in the world, battling for this top spot with only one other flower: the lily. No other flower impresses as much as the orchid and for this reason they hold a very special place in the world of flowers and make a very special and meaningful gift to anyone who is lucky enough to receive them.