Orchids make up about 10 percent of all flowering plants on the earth. After reading this statistic, it seems like finding them would be no problem. But that’s not always the case. It’s true that some species are quite common. Others, however, are very rare. These are prized above all others because of their scarcity. And most of them are also the most beautiful in nature.
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What Makes These Special Plants Rare?
Most of these varieties are hard to find because their natural habitat has been destroyed by human interference such as ghost orchids. They are adaptable plants, but they do require certain conditions to survive. When tree cover is lost because of deforestation, they cannot survive. Also, when soil and water supplies are contaminated with pollution, they can become weakened and die.
It’s funny that we humans value what we’ve helped endanger–these flowers– more than any other variety. The rarest ones which have been most affected by humans are those that attract the most attention and biggest prices.
Some of The Rarest Types That are Almost Impossible to Find
In any variety, scarcity is often dictated by color. The rarest orchids usually have unusual coloration. For example, albino Phal Amboinensis is one of the most sought-after and unique plants on the planet. This striking plant has an enormously long stem and no pigmentation. The lack of color was caused by a genetic mutation in just one parent plant; therefore, there aren’t many other albino ones found in nature.
An effort has been made in recent years to imitate the genetic mutation that produces these peculiar and unique plants in the laboratory. But since the lab-produced plants aren’t as unique, they aren’t as valuable as their wild counterparts.
Cattleyas Can be Included With These Varieties
Cattleyas are another variety that can be of great interest. They produce beautiful, delicate blooms and are extremely difficult to grow. Even veteran gardeners could run into problems with Cattleyas; they are finicky about temperatures and sunlight and need just the right amount of fertilizer to blossom. But despite their scarcity and growing problems, Cattleyas remain one of the most sought after varietals.
Lady Slippers are Next on the List
Some Lady Slippers, which are members of the Paphiopedilum genus, are scarce because of over picking. They were once ubiquitous in Great Britain and northern Europe, but they were brought near extinction by over harvesting. These days, they are very difficult to find in the wild, although their popularity with orchid aficionados makes them fairly easy to get a hold of in a specialty shop.
Typically, dark flowers are extremely rare. Blue and black types can be as hard to find as their albino cousins. One of the least abundant dark species, Coeloyne pandurata, is known to grow in just a few places in Malaysia. This black species fetches a hefty price because it is so scarce.
Be Careful When Purchasing One of these Flowers
If you’re interested in buying rare ones, be careful how you go about making your purchase. Some sellers harvest them in ways harmful to the environment. Always ask where they came from before you finish a sale. And though these species can make an exciting addition to any collection, you should be prepared to pay top dollar for them. Like any other collector’s item, these varieties don’t come cheap.