There are more varieties of Orchid than any other flower, and every Orchid plant produces its own delicate symmetrical blooms on thin stems. The main types of Orchid used by florists are the Dendrobium (including Singapore), Mokara, and Cymbidium, although some florists also are able to supply Oncidium (Golden Shower), Tiger or Phalaenopsis (Moth). Dendrobium Orchids have many small blooms and buds on one stem, each with 5 pointed petals. Mokara Orchids are similar, but tend to have rounded petals and no buds. The most common colours amongst these two cut Orchids are white, pink, red, purple and orange. Cymbidium Orchids are much larger and come in a wide variety of colours and markings, making them great pot-plants.
Orchids have been known to grow naturally all across the globe, but natives are becoming less common due to hunting out, habitat damage and hybridisation. Now, many varieties of Orchids are grown commercially for florists in tropical climates such as in South East Asia and Northern Queensland.
There are many uses for the Orchid, from producing vanilla flavouring to creating delicate perfumes. Florists are able to use Orchids in arrangements for any occasion, because of the large variation in colour and the longevity of the flower when compared to other flower types. Orchids spell romance or sophistication to the beneficiary, despite the literal meaning of the Greek name being ‘testicle’!