Orchids from the Arthur and Phyllis Kaplan Orchid Conservatory
Check out & share these 10 incredible things you didn't know about orchids:
Orchids are one of the largest families of flowering plants. Recent estimates put the number of orchids at more than 28,000 accepted species.
Orchids are found in nearly every climatic zone on every continent except Antarctica.
There are orchids in Australia that grow and bloom completely underground!
Orchid seeds are tiny and dust-like; a single pod may contain over 4 million seeds.
Some orchids mimic female insects in order to attract males as pollinators.
Natural vanilla extract comes from the pods and seeds of a climbing orchid vine that has stems measuring over 300 feet long.
The world's smallest orchid is only 2.1mm in size. Yet, the Asian giant tiger orchid, Grammatophyllum scriptum, can weigh over a ton, with leafy canes over 8 feet long that produce 18-foot flowering stems.
More than 200 species of native orchids grow in North America, with more than 50 species recorded from Virginia.
More than 55% of the c. 1000 orchid species assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature are critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable to extinction, but many more are likely to be threatened by loss of habitat and unsustainable collection.
When orchids were first brought into European cultivation in the 18th and 19th centuries, "Orchid Fever" drove people to risk their lives and spend vast fortunes to acquire them. Today orchids are the world's most popular flowering potted plant with annual global sales totaling billions of dollars.