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Teacher: How to identify orchids by their foliage

Teacher: How to identify orchids by their foliage

The leaves can help identify the orchids

identify the orchids

of species that make up the family of orchids, or Orchidaceae, flowers are perhaps the most convincing feature used to identify them. If you do not know what type of orchid you are treating, and the flower is not in bloom, you may be able to identify orchids by its foliage. Consider the common species you will find in flower shops, including Cattleya, "Corsage" orchids, Paphiopedilum, "Lady's slipper" and Phalaenopsis orchids, moth orchids, when determining types of orchids.

Observe leaf color and growth position. Corsage orchids have tall growths called pseudobulbs with elongated green medium-sized leaves growing upward, one after the other. The dark green leaves of the lady's slipper orchid extend to form a fan-like shape, with no pseudobulbs at the base of the rhizome. The light green leaves in butterfly orchids fan out on both sides of a rhizome center.

Feel the ends of the leaves on the roots, along with the ground. Dryness or humidity should not help identify orchids, since different species have different water and growing average needs. Lady's flippers are earthy orchids that thrive on the half-floor type found in the natural jungle environment that should be wet but not too wet.

Go to your local or online library and check out an illustrated orchid book. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this is never truer than when it comes to identifying exotic orchid plants that have similar physical characteristics.

Tips and Warnings

Consult an orchid expert such as a botanist or horticulturist at your local university. These professionals can show exactly what to look for when it comes to identifying these exotic indoor plants.

Some Paphiopedilum orchids are hybrids, and they have discovered, light green leaves.


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