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Types Of Orchids

Updated on October 22, 2011

Orchids are one of the most fascinating flowers with exotically beautiful faces and make the most diverse plant family in the world.

Many countries have acquired varieties of Orchids as their respective National Flowers. They are most productive in the tropics where they grow on tree trunks and branches as well as in the temperate zones where they grow on the ground.

There are various types of Orchids in the different parts of the world-- different colors, species, hybrids and size that you’d go crazy if start counting each one of them.

With species estimated to be in between 30,000 to 40,000 and are organized by over 800 genera. So we’ll discuss the types that we’re likely to buy and are domestically grown by Orchid lovers.

Moth Orchid
Moth Orchid

Moth Orchids

Probably the most common type of Orchids also known as Phalaenopsis.

They’re epiphytes and grow on trees in a constantly moist environment in the wild. You can find them in a standard flourist shop.

They’re also popular cause of its big, colorful and long-lasting flowers that bring elegance to home and lighten up a dull atmosphere. And grow relatively quickly for orchids. That’s why they’re considered houseplants.

Moth Orchids
Moth Orchids

Coming from tropical climate, they’re used to warm environment. They come in so many colors. My favourite is the Phalaenopsis Aphrodite, pure white with a yellow lip and pink markings.

Moth orchids are vastly used for decoration purpose and they make startling wedding flowers. Others are also called Plantation (white petals with heavy red spots), Everspring Star (white petals with deep cherry red spots and splodges), Ruben (red), Fancy Fresco (lime green) yellow petals with rose pink lip), Roman holiday (light yellow with heavy red spots and pink center), First Delight (strawberry pink with a deep red lip), Leopold (orange with pink center), Heart breaker (white with pale pink center and a dark red lip) and many more.

Dendrobium Orchids
Dendrobium Orchids

Dendrobium Orchids

Dendrobium is another type of orchids that you can grow at home. They also come in variety of colors and are one of the largest orchid genera.

Their species live as epiphytes as well lithophytes and come from different regions that are why you have to understand their natural environments to keep them alive. Some of them require warm environments while some cool nights.

Their varieties are Lake View (purple), Blue star (deep purple/blue flowers on stout canes), Hawaii (white and purple), Sapphire star (violet blue petals with a white center, almost velvety texture), Alba (light and pink), Eima queen (bright pink flowers on tall canes), Aberrans (miniature species with delicate white petals with a pink tinge) and Mutation (yellow).

Vanilla Orchid
Vanilla Orchid


Paphiopedilums is also known as lady slipper orchids.

They have a very strange appearance like no other flower and actually have pouch-shaped lips often with stripes or spots on them.

You can find Paphiopedilum at fancy grocery stores.

This is one of the highly sought-after plants.

Varieties include Magic Lantern, Delaina, Jack, Nike, Krull's Leopard, Florida Snow and Amy Book.

Vanilla Orchid

Its scientific name is Vanilla planifolia. And yes, vanilla flavor is produced by Vanilla orchid.

Its flowers grow in clusters of about 12 to 20 buds, usually 6 inches long and bright yellow-green.

A garden and a green-house is a better place to grow these flowers because they grow straight up in height and can reach up to 100 feet.

Vanilla orchids are epiphytes and require high humidity. Vanilla orchid vines, after the required look-after, can last seven to eight years and grow up to 1000 flowers.

Cattleya Orchids
Cattleya Orchids


The name was given after horticulturist William Cattleya who was also orchid collector in 19th century.

It is also known as the Corsage Orchid and is available in mouth-watering range of colors with some deliciously fragrant.

They are mostly epiphytes or lithophytes.

They come from a wide range of environments from tropical forest to almost freezing nights; you should be able to grow a couple regardless of the weather conditions.

Their varieties are like Saffron Satin, Flaming pixie (bright orange), Lilac queen (deep lilac color), Fiesta, Lemon Chiffon, Burrana Beauty (deep gold with salmon red marked lip – fragrant), Serendipity, Bow bells (white petals with yellow base on a frilly lip) and Hawaii Peach.


The Vandaceous orchid is also totally tropical. These are sympodial epiphytic orchids and require full sun exposure, warm temperature and high humidity.

The flowers of vanda are flat with petals and sepals of equal size.

They are not any difficult to grow than the other orchids if you take care of its unique cultural needs.

Vanda orchids are very rewarding, flower several times a year usually with new hybrids blooming.

Vanda contains some of the rare blue orchids seen in cultivation today. Blue Magic is blue\purple, Lavendar Thrills is bright magenta, Fuchsia Queen has bright fuchsia pink flowers with spots and splodges and Vanda Kultana Fantasy has a stunningly spotty face.

These are most commonly grown domestically. There are a lot more genera and species of orchids in various shapes, sizes and colors.


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    • natures47friend profile image

      natures47friend 6 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

      Great hub and beautiful orchids. I grow flowering orchids. It is exciting when they bloom.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks for this information, Hassam. I have absolutely no experience with orchids, but they're so beautiful & so popular now that I'd like to give them a try. You're hub is a great resource. I'm bookmarking it! Thanks again. DF

    • profile image

      Warnner 6 years ago

      Thank you for the beautiful photos - like a breath of fresh air. And as far as I'm concerned, a professional photographer could not have done better!

    • chinemeremz profile image

      chinemeremz 7 years ago

      Hmmm! Floral beauty in pics.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Voted up!

    • hassam profile image

      hassam 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Thank You! :)

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago

      Some great orchid pictures here. They look amazing!