Orchids, not your typical flower. The delicate beauty of the orchid belies a mischievous nature and unique history. I love to look at them and make up stories that take me away somewhere. This got me to research them a bit and what curious things I found. Here are my top five fun facts about orchids:
- Orchids have long been thought to have medicinal properties curing everything from headaches, fevers, coughs, aches, and wounds. Some of the earliest references to the orchid’s healing properties have been found in ancient Chinese pharmaceutical books.
- The Peruvian Sobralia altissima species can grow up to 44 feet tall. I wonder if 1-800-flowers delivers these?
- Orchid blossoms appear in almost every imaginable color except black.
- The “bee” orchid (Ophrys scolopax) relies on bees to pollinate it. To achieve this goal one of the orchid’s three petals looks like, and smells like, a female bee. This attracts the male bee which makes a visit, ends up covered in pollen and flies on to pollinate other flowers…so mischievous!
- Need some glue? Use an orchid. That is what the Aztecs did. They would dry the orchid roots completely, mash them into a fine dust and then add water to create a strong gummy adhesive.
The mysteries of the orchid are numerous. It begs repeating “Orchids, not your typical flower.”