How did orchids get their names? Epiphytes or parasites?

How did orchids get their names? Epiphytes or parasites?

Most orchids have appropriate names, for example in the epiphytic genera Dendrobium and Epidendrum – both names come from the ancient Greek word dendron and mean ‘growing on trees’. But some orchids bear a name that seems very wrong, even insulting. In past centuries, epiphytic orchids were often called ‘parasites’. Are they? No! But are there parasitic orchids? Yes!

Metamorphosis: from butterwort to orchid

Metamorphosis: from butterwort to orchid

When I acquired Lankesterella ceracifolia for my collection, all my orchid friends laughed. They thought that I had been scammed and someone had sold me a butterwort instead. But when it finally flowered, after a year, it really turned out to be an orchid, with alien-like blooms. What a gem!

Book review Demystifying Orchid Pollination

Book review Demystifying Orchid Pollination

The book ‘Demystifying Orchid Pollination’ by Adam Karremans was published in Spring 2023 by Kew Gardens. Well-written and well-illustrated, the book is a treasure trove of how orchids and their pollinators interact. The book is based on scientific findings of the last two centuries, but written for a broad public. Unique feature of the book: QR Codes that give access to videos of orchids being pollinated.

Translate »