Types of Orchids: [Characteristics and Classification]

Orchid Characteristics

Orchids are perennial plants that belong to the genus Orchidaceae. Around the world, an endless variety of orchids compete in beauty and colorful splendor.

They have the characteristic of growing on top of other plants, as if they were fungi or mushrooms, from which they can steal nutrients, because the orchid is not capable of producing them by itself.

Currently, some 30,000 natural varieties of orchids are registered, scattered in dissimilar places and climates on the planet. There are many genera of orchids, many of which have unique, unrepeatable characteristics.

For example, in the Amazon region endemic varieties are obtained that we will not find anywhere else in the world.

Main types of orchids

Next, some of the most common or well-known species, those that have been most commercialized internationally.


They are fanatical orchids of places to grow like rocks, or preferably a tree that provides shade and food.

They have more pointed leaves than the popular Phalaenopsis and grow directly from the central stem of the plant. They show spectacular colors in their flowers

Coming from Asia and Australia, their name means «the one who lives in a tree». They have a wide range of colors and shapes.


This variety is recognized because the leaves of its flowers emulate a butterfly with its wings outstretched, and can be unicolored or with diffuse combinations such as white on an intense fuchsia.

Its leaves are fleshy, of a beautiful dark green color. They also grow as guests of excellence on trees or stones.

They were born in Southeast Asia. Varieties are also available in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The orchids of this genus are super resistant, so they are ideal for those growers who are new to the art of caring for this work of art lavished by nature.


It is also known as the Queen of orchids, because it has spectacular colors and emanates a delicious fragrance, thanks to the creation of its grower, Guillermo Catteleya.

It grows from pseudobulbs, but its stems have few flowers, although they are large and spectacular in their shades, especially the purple ones. Cattleya is a favorite in flower arrangements and was introduced to Europe from Brazil.


This hybrid is known by the name of Boat Orchid. Its natural habitat is located in the Himalayan mountains, in Asia, where it has also been part of the diet of many natives.

It is also used in bouquets assembled and marketed in the florist business, because its flowers are more durable than other varieties.

It comes with quite elongated leaves and its flower, with striking colors, gives off a spectacular aroma. They develop from pseudobulbs that differentiate it from the others. It needs a lot of water and indirect sun to survive.


Originating from the tropical areas of Southeast Asia, it was initially cultivated in Singapore but later became so widespread that even today this variety of orchids has a presence in the United States.

It is very versatile and supports living in hanging pots, but requires large doses of water and good indirect sunlight. That is why it is considered an aerial plant that lives thanks to the humidity it captures from the environment.

They can also live quietly on rocks, in trees and directly on the ground. They come in stunning colors and have long stems and very large flowers, another typical feature of this variety.


It is a very widespread variety in the American continent, since it is obtained from the United States to Argentina, in the extreme Patagonian zone.

It even remains in places 4 thousand meters above sea level. Hybrids from this beautiful plant are usually very resistant, ideal for beginners.

Its flowers are small, but they greatly invade all its branches, the main characteristic that identifies it with the name of Dancing Lady. Most are yellow, dotted with spots in shades of red and orange.


It is another hybrid species of great beauty, with spots or specks on the unique petals of its leaves.

It was artificially created from hybrids of Odontoglossum (from Central America), Oncidium and Miltonia, with spectacular results that have positioned it as one of the most commercial.

This means that it will never be found in natural habitats. They require humid and ventilated environments.

They are epiphenous plants that develop pseudobulbs at their base that give way to elongated leaves, with flowers of various sizes and shapes, and may present a characteristic variegation on the leaves, in reddish, yellow, brown, pink and white tones.

Unlike many other varieties, this hybrid has a very delicate root that must be taken care of.


It is widely known as the Spider Orchid, due to the peculiar shape that the petals of its flowers acquire, in combination with thin leaves that look like arachnids. Pseudobulbs support the flowers.


This variety boasts large flowers with spectacular purple, purple and lilac tones and a delicate fragrance. Another exceptional quality is the long duration of its flowering period.


They are orchids of great facilities for their cultivation at home. They have predominantly red flowers with small petals, which, although not as spectacular, adapt very well to diverse environments.

They work perfectly for those who want to start in this world of orchid worship.

They multiply by keikes, which are small plants that sprout from the mother and must be used for reproductive purposes.

The universe of orchids is unique, possessing a beauty sculpted by the hand of God, they are a true blessing in any home, because they attract the best looks and give off the most exquisite aromas that nature lavishes on us.

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