With more than 50,000 known species (and roughly 800 more discovered each year), the orchid is the largest family of flowering plants. It is a cosmopolitan flower, capable of growing nearly anywhere, from deserts to glaciers. However, this elegant flower is most commonly found in tropical regions, such as Central and South America as well as throughout Asia.
Two main types of wild orchid and hybrid orchids – the epiphytic orchids commonly grown in pieces of bricks, charcoal, Styrofoam pellets, fern roots and the terrestrial variety which grow and flower on the ground.
The flower structure of orchids gives them their character. Some are tiny and singular. Others are elongated with numerous blossoms.
There are so many varieties and features of orchids, but some common traits emerge, including bilateral symmetry and, most obviously, the presence of a single modified petal, called the “labellum.” Apart from that, orchids can take on any number of appearances, including bright purple, red, orange, white with lavender touches, or mottled colorations that resemble flames or brushstrokes. Some orchid flowers feature the evolutionary perk of being shaped like the insects that pollinate them. Since there are thousands of unique varieties, orchids are hungrily collected and cultivated by enthusiasts around the globe. Orchids are also used in many cultures for practical purposes—not just admiring their delicate beauty, orchids are used to produce vanilla, scents for perfume, and, in Turkey, flavoring for ice cream and a hot traditional beverage called “salep.”
Orchid’s fragile beauty and exotic allure have made the flower a popular gift, as a potted plant and as fresh, cut flowers. Orchid flowers carry many meanings, but the strongest associations are love, beauty, wealth, and strength. The orchid has accrued its meanings: It is a rare, elegant, and cherished not only for its beauty, but also as a symbol of strength and prosperity. As such, the gift of an orchid is an appropriate gift for all occasions.
Kuala Lumpur Orchid Garden.
Kuala Lumpur Orchid Garden was established in the year 1986, covering an area of approximately 1 hectares in size. It is located at the highest point of Lake Garden and is surrounded by lush greeneries and quite close to the Parliament building. It was set up to showcase the various species of orchid plants in this region. It is also a centre where the study and the conservation of the orchid are carried out.
The collection at the Orchid Garden includes 3,000 tropical cultivars, amongst which 800 of them are Malaysian species.