Orchidaceae, oh my!

, originally uploaded by A.p.K.

With an estimated 20,000+ individual flowering species, the Orchid family of plants is considered one of the most diverse and highly evolved forms of life with roots, leaves and flowers.

Orchids exist in every habitat except glaciers, and new species are still being discovered. My encounters with orchids typically take place in greenhouses or at orchid collector expos, and on occasion, in my own home.

Most people understand orchids to be terribly finicky and temperamental houseplants, and for many varieties a haphazard windowsill lifestyle certainly won’t work. I have learned though, through extensive trial and error, that there are dozens of orchids that are quite happy to live by a bright window and receive intermittent water and attention, and the reward is always remarkable. With colorful flowers that range wildly in shape and size, just one orchid plant in bloom can transform a room.

I’ve accumulated hundreds of photos of orchids over the years – 65 of these images are now collected on my website, available for stock licensing and prints. I hope to have the time to research more specific identification for some of the more unusual specimens – in the meantime, feel free to explore the remarkable variety of these exotic flowers!

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