Becker RU
Becker RU

Orchids: classification, characterization and structure of plants

Despite all its exotic sophistication, graceful fragility and seeming capriciousness, orchids are among the most “resistant” plants. And all because of its unique ability to perfectly adapt to the conditions of growth.

A lot of scientific papers are devoted to the study of these unique colors. Of course, it is impossible to know everything about orchids, but in order to obtain basic knowledge, it is enough to familiarize yourself with this article.

The symbol of wisdom and nobility in ancient China, the personification of the masculine in ancient Greece, the embodiment of the fall in the Middle Ages, the subject of rampant greed during the Great Geographical Discoveries, the object of close scientific study in the XX century.

And on the threshold of the 21st century, from a beautiful, but distant stranger, an orchid suddenly turned into an ordinary city flower - a flower of exhibition halls, shops, offices and our apartments.

After reading this material, you will learn what types of orchids are, how they adapt to different conditions, what ecological groups they divide into, and how different parts of the plant are arranged.

Categories of orchids: what are the indoor species (with photos)

Most of the exotic orchids contain at home troublesome. In addition to heat and light, tropical sissies need water of special quality, regular spraying, adherence to the frequency of fluctuations of seasonal and daily temperatures, protection from pests и diseases.

To comprehend all the subtleties of culture, you must first collect the necessary information about your new pets: what are orchids. what they are called when they bloom, why they get sick, and also where their homeland is, what kind of climatic conditions and day-length there are, where they grow in nature - in the tree crown, on a rock or on the ground, etc.

This is necessary to know because the basis for introducing any tropical plants into culture is the modeling of conditions typical of their natural habitats.

People do not often think about what actually are the limits of adaptive responses of tropical plants to indoor conditions, and what kind of vitality they manifest when they are not in the forest, but on window sills or in glazed loggias.

This is especially true flowering plantsBecause the conditions in our apartments are so different from the rainforest climate that only a few species can bloom here in a natural way.

Gradually, through trial and error, groups of natural orchid species that grow well at home were identified. Breeding also worked a lot to bring out stable hybrids, adapted to the peculiarities of light on our window sills, moisture regimes, and, equally important, accessible to all comers.

Without much hassle, right on the windowsills, flowering species grow from the genera Phalaenopsis (Phalaenopsis)Venus shoes of the kind Pafiopedilum (Paphiopedilum), hybrids with a collective name Cumbria (Cambria), «Precious»Orchid Ludiziya (Ludisia), Pleione (Pleione)some species from genera Tselogine (Coelogyne) и Dendrobium (Dendrobium).

Look what happens types of orchids on these photos:

Remember that the overwhelming number of wonderful species and hybrids of orchids need to be specially created, and, most importantly, to maintain these conditions constantly.

In the classification of orchids 5 categories are distinguished.

  • Species and hybrids, growing without problems on the windowsill with artificial light exposure or without it.
  • Flowering thermophilic orchid species and hybrids suitable for cultivation in an artificial green room room room located on a window.
  • Miniature views for a room-based greenhouse with artificial lighting and a moderate temperature regime with a difference in day and night temperatures at 4 — 6 ° C.
  • "Precious" orchids for closed greenhouses.
  • Beautiful flowering cold-loving species and hybrids for warmed balconies and loggias.

As is known, the Orchid family (in Latin Orchidaceae) is one of the largest families of flowering plants on Earth, it numbers from 25000 to 30000 species from 800 genera. In addition, more than 250 thousands of hybrid orchids have already been artificially created.

It is these hybrid orchids with large bright flowers that gradually regain their place on our window sills, displacing from there not only decorative and deciduous herbs, but even the usual flowering plants, such as pelargonium, Saintpaulia, begonias and others.

What are indoor orchids are shown in these photos:

Adaptation of orchids to habitats

The overwhelming number of orchid species is confined to the tropics and subtropics, but in our central region of Russia there are more than 150 orchid species in the meadows, forest glades, along the roadsides, in the mountains and even beyond the Arctic Circle.

Settling in almost all continents of the globe with the exception of Antarctica, orchids adapted to both the marshy and very arid habitats, even deserts.

Epiphytic species adapted especially well to strong solar radiation and prolonged droughts, their shoots and leaves even turned into water storage tanks, and photosynthesis became almost the same as in cacti and succulents.

Orchids are not only the most numerous, but also one of the youngest families of the plant kingdom. It is believed that the ancestors of modern orchids originated around 140 — 120 a million years ago and evolved along with insects, acquiring modern forms 40 – 25 a million years ago.

As a result, many types of orchids are so adapted to their pollinators that often only one kind of insect (or even sex) can transfer the pollen from one flower to another. But then, orchid flowers are perfectly adapted to this single pollinator.

Need to repel pollinator from other plants?

European ophrys (Ophrys) will bloom in the spring much earlier than other plants, the smell and appearance of flowers resembling female wasps will attract the attention of male wasps. The males ready for mating will take orchid flowers for females and try to mate with them.

In this case, the pollen collected in special lumps (pollinia) will attach to the body of the male, which will transfer it to the next flower and produce pollination.

Bees and bumblebees see well in ultraviolet light?

Many tropical orchids on the lip (a special flower petal serving as a landing site for pollinators) have a pattern that is clearly visible in ultraviolet light and forms a path leading to the pollinia.

Night moths are guided by the smell and, sucking nectar on the fly, never sit on a flower?

The flowers of such orchids are almost always white or greenish, they have a strong aroma and a spur filled with nectar, and their parts are bent backwards so as not to interfere with free flapping of the wings of a pollinator butterfly.

In the arsenal of orchids there are fantastic traps based on food, sexual and social instincts of insects, false baits, and even drugs that paralyze pollinators for some time.

In addition, the life and prosperity of epiphytic tropical orchids depends on pollinating animals (birds or bats) and host trees. It is also closely associated with mushrooms, thanks to the symbiosis with which orchids invented their own unique way of germination.

Seeds consist of a germ and thin seed coat. Penetrating into the embryo, the fungus supplies it with all the substances necessary for germination, since the seeds themselves do not have cotyledons, and, consequently, no nutrient. In one seed box you can count from several thousand to 2 — 3 millions of seeds.

Let us imagine a seed of a miniature epiphytic orchid, brought on a branch of a tree. How to cling to the smooth bark and germinate in the sun, how to protect yourself from the constant threat of being washed away by showers or carried away by the wind? How to meet with insect pollinator and symbiotic fungus? And here multi-seediness comes on the scene.

Just as out of millions of fish eggs only a few dozen survive, no more than 0,001% of seeds usually sprout from each seed box of an orchid in nature. But despite this, orchids in the tropics thrive due to their plasticity, the ability to survive adverse conditions and quickly adapt to environmental changes.

Subfamily Orchid family

The Orchid family is divided by scientists into 5 subfamilies. The most primitive of them - apostasia (Apostasioideae). These are ancient terrestrial grasses with three prolific stamens. They are found in the tropics of Asia and valuable to science as the most primitive orchids.

Two fertile stamens have orchids from the subfamily Cyprigedia (Cypripedioideae), they are also called "Venus shoes". These are highly decorative plants with large original flowers and beautiful leaf rosettes that are common in the tropics, subtropics and temperate zones of Europe, Asia and America.

Several species of cypripedia live in Russia. In the other subfamilies of 3, more highly organized single-blade orchids are collected. The Vanilloideae subfamily is known for its vanilla spices, which are extracted from orchids. Vanilla planar (Vanilla planifolia).

Among vanilla there are a lot of lianas, as well as saprophytes, leading an underground way of life and only raising their inflorescences above the ground during flowering and fruiting.

Single-tongued orchids from the subfamily itself orchids (Orchidoideae) are widespread not only in the tropics, but also in the forests of the temperate zone, for example, our love (Platanthera), finger rest (Dactylorhiza), orchis (Orchis), ophrys (Ophrys) other.

Most advanced orchid subfamily - Epidendral (Epidendroideae) includes the vast majority of ornamental orchids, epiphytes, the name of this subfamily just means "living on a tree."

The subfamily is the highest rank within the family, the lower grade is the tribe. Taxonomic categories of the genus above have special endings by which the status of the taxon can be determined.

The Latin family name always ends in -asee, the subfamily - on -oideae, the tribes - on -eae, subtriby - on -inae. All Latin names from the genus and below are written in italics, and the authors - in direct font.

Table: "Taxonomic characteristics of the orchid flower on the example of phalaenopsis pleasant (Phalaenopsis amabilis (L.) Blume)":

Characteristic view P. amabilisAccepted abbreviation of taxon author
Subfamily / S ubfamEpidendroideaeLindt.
Tribe / TribeVandeae
Subtribe / SubtribeAeridinae
Po d / Gen usPhalaenopsisFlower
Subgenus / SubmenusPhalaenopsis
.Section / SectionPhalaenopsis
.View / SpeciesPhalaenopsis amabilis(L.) Blume
Subtype / SubspeciesP. amabilis subsp. moluccana(Schltr.) EA Christ.
Variety / VarietyP. amabilis there. rimestadianaLinden
Form / FormP. amabilis there. rimestadiana f. dawnHort.

Today, the orchid classification is undergoing significant revision. Species names of plants change, species are transferred from one genus to another, sectional division within genera is revised. Time to track all these changes - the task of a scientific approach.

The structure of the flower and inflorescence orchids (with the scheme)

Orchids - monocotyledons, relatives of lilies, asparagus, aroid.

What signs distinguish these representatives of flora from other flowering plants?

First of all, it is the structure of the orchid flower, in which the male and female organs (stamens and pistils) are connected in a special structure - the column.

The most striking signs of orchid flowers are, as a rule, three almost always identical sepals (or sepalia), two petals (or netalia) and a large lip - a special modified petal, usually located at the bottom of the flower.

Most of the venereal shoes from the subfamily Tsipripediyev (Cypripedioideae) lateral sepals have grown together behind the flower into a double sepal (synsepalum), and the lip has turned into a bag-shaped trap.

Many orchids from the subfamily Epidendic (Epidendroideae) the lip is three-lobed (with two lateral and one front lobe), it is colored brighter than the other segments of the perianth, it can have a different shape and bear numerous warts, hair-like and callus processes, lateral processes.

In some orchids, nectaries are formed from the rudiments of stamens, emitting fragrant nectar, which attracts pollinators to the flower - insects or birds.

In most orchids, the inflorescence is a simple brush, and in single-flowered species (for example, in a number of venereal shoes), the inflorescence is called the single-flowered brush. In some orchids (Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, hybrid cambria), the inflorescence branches, forming a complex brush.

Other variations in orchid structure include the spike (Oberonia) and umbrella-like (Bulbophyllum) inflorescences.

Inflorescences are apical and lateral. In species growing in a monsoon climate, inflorescences with unpollen flowers live only one season. And for many island orchids, growing in conditions of equatorial climate, the inflorescences, gradually growing, bloom continuously for a year or even several years.

Sometimes these inflorescences are called "revolving." They are typical, for example, of some types of venereal shoes and phalaenopsis. Interestingly, a number of orchids (Pleione, Coelogyne) develop inflorescences and flowers ahead of the Umbrella inflorescence development of shoots. Bulbophyllum longiflorum

Here you can see the structure of the orchid flower:

Buds, fruits and seeds of orchids

Each orchid has many buds on the stems, rhizomes, and occasionally even on the roots. The buds of the same plant differ in position on the maternal shoot, functions, type of budding of the shoot, method of protection against adverse effects, in addition, they are at different stages of development. The more buds that are potentially capable of growth and development, the more viable the orchid is.

There are vegetative, generative and vegetative-generative buds. From the vegetative buds, shoots are formed, from the generative buds - inflorescences, and from the autonomic-generative buds - shoots with apical inflorescences. The degree of formation of resting autonomic-generative buds before blooming may be different.

In some orchids, only part of the future shoot develops in the bud; the rest develops after its blooming. In other orchids, the entire vegetative part of the future shoot is fully laid in the not yet revealed bud, and the development of the apical inflorescence begins at the top of the fully developed shoot.

But there are orchids in which, during biological dormancy, the vegetative-generative shoot is laid inside the bud completely - with rudiments of roots, inflorescence and even flowers (for example, in spring flowering playon).

The fruit is a triangular box, which, when ripe, can be opened by 1,3 or 6 slits. The fruits of most orchids are filled with very fine dust-like seeds, light and volatile, capable, together with air and water flows, to cover distances of several tens of kilometers.

Different orchids have different fruit ripening times, from 1 to 30 months. For example, in some species of the genus Calanta (Calanthe), the fruits ripen 1 — 2,5 months, in Phalaenopsis (Phalaenopsis) —6 — 11 months, and in sepia shoes (Paphiopedilum) —7 — 11 months, and in cohogine (Cohiopedilum) - 12 — 30 months, and in cohogine (Cohiopedilum) - XNUMX — XNUMX months, and in cohogine (Cohiopedilum) - XNUMX — XNUMX months; XNUMX — XNUMX months

The seeds of most orchid species are very small, without endosperm (tissue in which the nutrients necessary for the development of the embryo are deposited) and grow in nature only in symbiosis with mycorrhizal fungi, therefore it is very difficult to germinate them in indoor conditions.

The growth of new lateral shoots of orchids

Known 2 mode of growth of new shoots of orchids - sympodial (in Latin - "legs together") and monopodial (in Latin - "one-legged").

In each shoot of a sympodially growing orchid, two areas can be distinguished, which differ, but the structure and functions of the stem and rhizomatous. The stem site performs photosynthetic functions (including, bears green photosynthesizing leaves), forms pseudobulbs and develops inflorescences.

Pseudobulbs are thickened areas of shoots that serve as reservoirs for storing water and nutrients; they help the plant survive moisture deficit during droughts.

The rhizo plot of the same shoot performs the function of the development of space and fixation in substrate, it bears scaly leaves, adventitious roots and, as a rule, the most developed vegetative, and sometimes even flower buds. In the system of two shoots, the earlier one is called maternal, and the next young is called its daughter.

Each shoot internode of a sympodially growing orchid has, as a rule, one bud and one leaf. The quality of the kidneys in them along the length of the shoot is not the same, usually those buds that are located on the upper nodes of the rhizome, directly under the pseudobulb or at the base of the leaf outlet, are better developed and ready for growth.

These 1 — 3, the most active and developed buds, are responsible for the continuous growth of the individual and ensure its vegetative reproduction. If all the renewal buds at the base of the maternal shoot are destroyed, the buds of other internodes may begin to develop, which will prevent the plant from dying in extreme situations.

Sympodically growing orchids include all Venus shoes (including Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium, Cypripedium), Calante (Calanthe), Cattleya (Cattleya), Cymbidiums (Cymbidium), Tselosin (Coelogyne) Dendrobiums (Dendrobium) Oncidiums (Oncidium), Odontoglossums (Odontoglossum), Playone (Pleione), Cumbria, “precious” orchids and many others.

Rhizo sites of lateral shoots of sympodically growing orchids can exist for a long time, combining shoots into long-unbroken clones, but they can quickly die off, separating the system of shoots into separate units.

These are, for example, deciduous species from the genera:

Calante (Calanthe)

Playone (Pleione)

Tunia (Thunia)

In which the rhizome relationship between maternal and daughter shoots is carried out only during two growing seasons.

The shoots of sympodically growing orchids, as a rule, live as long as at least one live vegetative bud remains on them. The place of development of the inflorescences (apical or lateral) is strictly defined for each genus or species. A large perennial plant can be divided into several parts, each landing unit must include at least 3 shoots.

In monopodally growing orchids, the axis of branching consists of a single shoot, which has unlimited growth, and the root system is adventitious roots, which are alternately formed along the entire length of the stem as it grows.

The leaves of most monopodically growing orchids in cross section look like the Latin letter v, very often the tips of the leaves are forked and uneven. The nodes of the stem carry dormant buds hidden in the axils of the leaves.

As a rule, a sleeping bud gives rise to a replacement shoot after the death of the main apical point of growth, but in some species the stem is capable of free branching..

The monopodally growing orchids include:

Phalaenopsis (Phalaenopsis)

Shenorhis (Schoenorchis)

Wanda (Vanda)

Monopodial orchids grow as a single apical meristem, branch after weakening or death of this meristem and develop only lateral inflorescences. The monopodial mode of growth in orchids is more progressive than the sympodial one.

The following describes what are the leaves of orchids.

What are the types and forms of leaves of orchids

Morphological leaves of orchids can be divided into four categories: scale-like, vaginal, as well as true leaves with and without a vaginal area.

Small scale-like leaves of orchids have the form of a “wrapper” - they “wrap” the internodes of the rhizome outside. As the shoot ages, they tend to die off and look like translucent membranous scales protecting the kidneys.

The shape of the vaginal leaves is larger. All of them are articulated (they consist of a lamina and a modified stem - the vaginal lamina, which completely or partially covers the internode).

The place of such leaves is at the base or in the middle part of the pseudobulb, they cover up flower socks and buds of regular renewal. Quite often, the vaginal leaves, as well as scaly-shaped leaves, perform the functions of protecting the stem from excessive evaporation, being already dead.

True orchid leaves come in two forms: with and without vaginal plate. An example of a green leaf with a vaginal plate can be the leaves of deciduous species of dendrobium (Dendrobium).

Real leaves without a vaginal plate can be seen on the tips of the shoots. Bulbofillumov (Bulbophyllum), Cattley (Cattleya), Celogin (Coelogyne), Dendrobiums (Callista, Dendrocoryne, Latouria sections). In some orchids, leaves may have a constant purple color.

In a number of sun-loving epiphytic orchids (for example, in the dendrobium from the Aporum section), leaf blades flattened not vertically but vertically, becoming almost triangular. Even more specialized valkovatye leaves, round in cross section.

These leaves have Luizii (Luisia) Holclossums (Holcoglossum) and etc.

Below you will find out why orchids need aerial roots, and what function they perform.

Why do we need aerial roots orchids, how they grow and what function they perform

In a living air root, areas with living cells of a multi-layered epidermis (this is the green, brownish or yellowish tip of the growing root) and cells that, when they die, turn into a special tissue - velamen (this is the rest of the white or silver surface of the root) are very clearly visible.

The number of cell layers of velamen varies from orchid species, from 1 in a vanilla (Vanilla) to 22 in some species of American catasetums (Catasetum). In each type of orchid, the number of cell layers of velamen is strictly defined, but when the air humidity decreases, it can decrease by one layer.

This is due to the underdevelopment of the uppermost layer, which is called epivelamen. Those who grew epiphytic orchids in room greenhouses, it was sometimes noticed that at high air humidity the smooth outer surface of the air roots was partially covered with root hairs.

These are outgrowths of the outer walls of epivelamen cells, which, penetrating into the microcracks of substrates, help the air roots to attach to the support.

The dry aerial roots of epiphytic orchids appear white or silvery, since the dead cells of velamen reflect light. And the wet root appears to be green due to the fact that dead cells of velamen filled with water become translucent and through them shines through the contents of living cells of the parenchyma with green chloroplasts.

The aerial roots of orchids, which grow inside the substrate without access to light, have few green chloroplasts in living cells, so their root tips are not green, but yellowish. However, if the substrate is removed, the number of chloroplasts increases rapidly under the action of light and the tips of the roots turn green after a few days.

The growth rate of the air root can be determined by the length of its green tip. During a dry, sunless winter, the meristem is almost inactive, the length of the living area is greatly reduced, and the silvery-white velamen rises very close to the tip.

With a sufficient level of illumination and humidity, the length of the living area increases significantly and can reach 1,5 — 2,0 cm.

When immersed inside the substrate, the air roots eventually become colonized by fungi and bacteria. These are hooks called consortium partners — weak pathogens that accompany substrate roots throughout the life of orchids after germination from seeds or after the removal of seedlings or regenerating plants from sterile vials.

Microorganisms-consorts do not harm healthy roots, but, on the contrary, being digested by parenchymal cells, deliver additional nutrients to plants.

In addition to the velamen, another fabric of the orchid root, the exoderm, plays an active role in the processes of water and gas exchange. The exoderm is a living, single-layered tissue that underlies the velamen from the inside along the entire length of the root. In combination with velamen, this particular fabric protects the roots from excessive water loss.

It turned out that in the same orchids, the velamen and the exoderm of roots grown in air without contact with the substrate, retain water and solutions, not letting them inside the root, while the roots growing inside the substrate are able to absorb water and nutrient solutions by the surface.

At the roots growing in the air without contact with the substrate, water and substances dissolved in it are absorbed only by living root tips, as well as areas with deformed or damaged velamen.

Thus, in the aerial roots of epiphytic orchids, the velamen of watery roots performs the following functions:

  • Mechanical protection of living root tissues
  • Protection of the root from excessive water loss
  • The increase in the time of absorption by the roots of water and solutions rich in mineral salts, due to the accumulation and temporary preservation of them in the cells of Velamen
  • Reduced transpiration by increasing the boundary layer around the root
  • Infrared radiation reflection

And what else important function is performed by aerial roots of orchids?

One of the features of aerial roots of epiphytic orchids is their ability to photosynthesis. But in most cases the level of energy spent by the air root on the implementation of vital processes for the plant exceeds the level of energy accumulated as a result of this photosynthesis.

In the absence of stomata controlling gas exchange between the internal environment of the root and the external atmosphere, a special type of photosynthesis, the so-called “artlessly CAM-photosynthesis”, takes place in the air roots of epiphytic orchids.

It is characteristic, first of all, for leafless monopodially growing orchids, which, not having green leaves, photosynthesize exclusively with the help of their aerial roots.

It is because of the ability to photosynthesis that one can see aerial roots that continue to live for a long time after the death of the Phalaenopsis escape. The orchid breeder hopes that the living root is able to restore the lost plant, but the hope for this always turns out to be false.

Ecological groups of orchids

Most orchids are tropical inhabitants. About 70 — 75% of orchids represented in the flora of the globe are epiphytes, that is, plants that live on trees, using them as a support.

There, in the trees, they exist in the border conditions - in the open sun, without the usual soil for most plants, risking under the influence of wind or rain not to hold onto a support and turn “upside down”, or even fall to the ground.

It is believed that the lack of sufficient illumination under the canopy of dense tropical forest is the main reason why orchids switched to an epiphytic way of life.

But let's not disregard the weak competitiveness of most orchids during germination and pollination, the periodic flooding of the terrain, the presence of terrestrial herbivores and leaf-eating insects in nature, and many other biological causes, but which orchids could choose epiphytic habitats for settlement.

In addition to epiphytes (substrate - host plants), several more ecological groups of orchids are distinguished, which are determined by their way of life and attitude to the substrate.

These are geophitic or terrestrial orchids (the substrate is the surface of the soil), lithophytic (the substrate is plant residues in crevices of rocks and stones), bryophilic (substrate is moss cover), saprophytic (substrate is decaying plant residues).

Each of these groups of orchids requires special conditions in the culture, which are most adapted to home cultivation. So which types of orchids are best suited for indoor conditions? These are epiphytes, lithophytes and geophytes.

Epiphytes The most important factor influencing the distribution of orchids in a tree canopy is light. The farther from the trunk and closer to the tips of the branches - the more light-loving orchids settle there. The most light-loving are miniature orchids, which are also called “sunny” epiphytes.

Their metabolism passes, but the same pattern as that of cacti and succulents, with stomata completely closed at night. This is the so-called Crassulacea Acid Metabolism or CAM, discovered for the first time in plants of the Crassulaceae family.

Closer to the trunk of the host tree are orchids, in which, depending on the conditions, CAM photosynthesis may change to C3 photosynthesis, when the stomata remain open as during the day, hook and night. Apparently, there are quite a lot of orchids with such a self-interchanging metabolism in nature that these include the species of phyloenopsis.

Another determining factor in settling a tree canopy is the availability of moisture - permanent or temporary.

Orchids constantly supplied with water grow on a hygroscopic humus leaf litter substrate or in a layer of moist moss at the base of large trees; Most epiphyte orchids that are temporarily supplied with water consume moisture from a non-hygroscopic, fast-drying substrate.

Here they are in extreme conditions due to frequent drying and poverty of the substrate, exposure to wind and direct sunlight. The main characteristic of epiphytic orchids is thickened pseudobulbs and / or leaves, all their vegetative organs are protected from dehydration by special covers (wax-like layers, dead scales, layers of dead cells).

Litophytes. Lithophytic orchids settle in rock crevices, on vertical stone walls of river canyons, steep mountain ledges and boulders. Rock breaks and cracks filled with a thin layer of humus accumulated there give shelter to seeds, and the constant humidity of the air at high altitudes created by clouds, and in river valleys with water vapor and splashes of springs and waterfalls contributes to successful germination.

In this case, the roots of orchids are strengthened in the substrate that fills the crack, as if anchoring the plant on a steep wall. Many lithophytic orchids are rather large, heavy herbs with hard leaves, long buds and large flowers.

The most remarkable representatives of lithophytic orchids are some species. Cymbidiums (Cymbidium) и Venus shoes (Faphiopedilum) from the mountainous regions of Indochina, a number of American Cattley (Cattleya)as well as Australian Dendrobiums (Dendrobium).

Lithophytes, as well as epiphytes, can be divided into two groups according to the degree of moisture availability. Litofity (venerian shoes), uniformly supplied with water, cannot be grown in a block culture with open roots.

At the same time, lithophytes periodically supplied with water, growing under conditions of prolonged drought and receiving moisture for some time exclusively as night condensate (some cattley), feel fine in a block culture, they can be contained as sun-loving epiphytes.

Geophites. Geophytic (terrestrial) orchids are found mainly in subtropical and arctic regions, where moisture deficit is due either to negative winter temperatures or prolonged drought.

But some tropical species can also grow in a light land substrate or in rotted leaf litter, in a layer of moss, in conditions of constant humidity without a pronounced rest period. Their shoots can keep live leaves and roots for several years.

Separate species can be attributed to this group of plants. Venus shoes (Paphiopedilum), Calante (Salanthe), Playone (Pleione), "Precious Orchids" from the genera Anektokhilus (Anoectochilus), Macodes (Placodes), Ludizia (Ludisia), Rhomboda (Rhombodu), Zeuxine (Zeuxine).

For terrestrial orchid species, the best of all is the ultra with roots fully embedded in the substrate.

This photo shows what are the orchids of different environmental groups:

Awards for the best orchids

For the first time to register and award outstanding orchids began in the Royal Horticultural Society of England in the XIX century. Today, orchid hybrids are registered in special periodicals such as The Orchid Review, Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids (United Kingdom), Orchids (United States), The Australian Orchid Review, Orchids Australia (Australia).

For each newly registered hybrid, its name, as well as the names of both parent plants, the breeder's name and the year of registration are taken into account.

Since the XIX century, the orchid community regularly organizes exhibitions, which demonstrate success in the cultivation of orchids. The most outstanding plants (species, natural and artificial hybrids and their cultivars) are awarded special awards.

The abbreviation meaning rewards is written immediately after the name, and the abbreviation of awarding societies is written in front of a slash (slash).

The Royal Horticultural Society (or RHS) (England) awards the best orchids with the following awards:

  • FCC (First Class Certificate) - first class certificate, awarded to orchids with flowers of outstanding quality;
  • AM (Award of Merit) - the quality mark, the next step, is awarded to recently obtained cultivars, which offer great promise as future producers. As an example, we can recall the remarkable Odontonia Moliere 'Etoile' AM / RHS;
  • NSS (Highly Commendable Certificate) - The highest certificate of merit, awarded to bury grown orchids with flowers of high quality;
  • CPC (Certificate of Preliminary Commendation) - certificate of the preliminary award;
  • SSS (Cultural Certificate of Commendation) - Award for the best culture.

Central European Orchid Societies award gold (GM), silver (SM) and bronze (VM) medals as well as nominal silver medals in honor of John Lindley and Joseph Banks and Flora's silver medal to prize orchids.

SSM (Certificate of Cultural Merit) - Certificate for the best culture, awarded not for the quality of the flower, but for the best agricultural techniques.

The American Orchid Society (or AOS) in 1945 set standards for the quality of hybrids, selection of isolated clones of species of plants, and selected outstanding samples of orchids.

On a 100-grade scale, orchids that meet the first-class certificate (FCC / AOS) must score 90 points and above, AM / AOS standards meet plants that score 80 — 89 points, and HCC / AOS awards receive plants that earn 75 — 79 battles .

For example, in 1982, the standard of quality was the intragenal hybrid Odontoglossum Оurkhard Holm 'Gera НСС / AOS, obtained by crossing lByx Other intrageneric hybrids - Odontoglossum Anneliese Bothenberger X O. Goldrausch.

CBR (Certificate of Botanical Recognition) - certificate of botanical recognition; American Orchid Society awards them the cultivars of species or natural hybrids for their rarity, unusualness, or cognitive value.

SNM (Certificate of Horticultural Merit) - awarded to well-grown species that are considered particularly interesting from a horticultural point of view.

SSM (Certificate of Cultural Merit) - Corresponds to the English (CCC) and European (CCM) awards for brilliantly grown plant, regardless of the quality of the flowers, as well as for the best and original culture.

Watch the All About Orchids video for the most important information about these unique plants:

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