Orchid Types – Terrestrial and Epiphytic Orchids
There are many different species of orchids as well as many hybrid orchid types.
But there are actually only two different orchid types, terrestrial and epiphytic orchids.
One of these orchid types are the terrestrial orchids. This refers to orchid species that grow on the ground.
The other type of orchid are the epiphytic orchids or epiphytes, which grow in trees, rocks or on poles.The term epiphyte is actually not reserved only to a type of orchid. It merely refers to any plant that has a root system above ground.
Terrestrial orchid species are some of the most popular orchids. Terrestrial orchids have roots that grow beneath the surface of the soil just like most other kinds of plants.
There are some terrestrial orchids that are semi-terrestrial by nature. This means that they have both underground and aerial roots. Terrestrial orchids grow upon structures like trees and some also grow on rocks.
Terrestrial Orchid Types – Cymbidium Orchids
Cymbidium orchids are a terrestrial orchid that has 40 species and thousands of hybrids. Cymbidium orchids natural habitat extends from Southeast Asia to Japan and they are also found in Australia
They were one of the first species of orchids under cultivation. These orchids are a great example of terrestrials that not only grow on the ground but can also grow on trees and rocks. They grow extremely well in the loose humus of rotted wood or decayed leaves.
Cymbidium orchids are very popular with orchid growers. They are easy to grow and with the proper care they will provide beautiful flowers every year. This makes them a perfect choice for beginners.
Epiphytic Orchid Types – Dendrobiums
Dendrobiums are the best known epiphytic orchid. Although they are easy to grow, they require slightly more care than Cymbidiums and do not flower as readily or on as regular a basis.
There are over 1000 species of Dendrobiums. They can be found in Northern India, South East Asia, Australia and Polynesia. Dendrobiums thrive under warm, humid growing conditions and should be kept moist.
Epiphytic Orchid Types – Phalaenopsis
Another popular epiphytic type of orchid is the Phalaenopsis.You probably are already familiar with these orchids. They are often seen at weddings and can be found in various colors including pinks, yellows, and even stripes. These orchids are easy to grow and have long-lasting flowers.
Epiphytic orchids grow upon structures like trees. Although they grow upon the tree, they do not receive its nourishment from the tree.
They establish themselves by their fleshy roots on branches or bark of trees. The organic matter that accumulates between the roots and branches is used as nutrients for the plant.
There are also some species of epiphytic orchids that cling to rocks.The roots of epiphytic orchids can also sustain the plant through wet and dry periods. The tough, stringy core of the root is surrounded by a spongy off-white covering that can absorb water easily.
When it rains, this cover soaks up water and once it is completely saturated, it turns light green. The orchid’s roots will retain the moisture and will release it gradually to the plant tissues.
Because epiphytic orchids are suspended from trees or rocks, these orchid types thrive in filtered light and always in open, airy situations.
As you can see orchid care is largely dependent on their orchid types once we understand and meet their needs caring for orchids becomes easy