No flowering plant has captured the fascination and passion of people in quite the same way as orchids have. A century ago, many adventurers died hunting these new and exotic plants in remote and treacherous jungles and swamps. They were sought not only for their showy flowers, but also for interest in their unusual pollination schemes, and for their pharmaceutical possibilities.
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The Rapid Growth of Orchids and Their Popularity
Now, a bustling trade revolving around these flowers valued as a billion-dollar global enterprise with millions of customers sees an estimated 30,000 wild varieties cataloged, along with thousands of new varieties, both hybrids and cloned. Despite rapid advances in germination and gardening techniques collectors are still esteemed for their successes in maintaining a blooming plant. These flowers have retained their mystique as temperamental, exotic plants.
The Ancient Meanings of These Plants and How They Were Viewed
Over time orchids have represented a variety of meanings, from love and pure beauty to wealth. They were believed by the Orient to aid in relieving lung illnesses and the Aztecs drank a concoction of these flowers and chocolate to increase their strength. Over the years, the medicinal properties of them have no longer been used; instead these flowers have been cherished as exotic, beautiful creatures.
Perhaps the most cherished and given varieties, are the white dendrobium ones. These delicate flowers have often been showcased at weddings, used in Hawaiian leis as a form of welcome, and giving as gifts to those that we want to share our love with.
Types of White Dendrobium Orchids
The First Hybrid: Snow White
The stem of this flower is detailed with beautiful white flowers, typically 8-10 flowers per stem. In South Asia, these flowers are given as gifts for anniversaries as they represent purity, good health and positive spirits. These make beautiful cut flowers, and can often be seen as the primary flower in wedding arrangements and vases.
Pagoda White Hybrid
Sold in markets in Singapore and Thailand, these flowers make a gorgeous houseplant due to the natural curve in their stem. The star shaped flowers measure about 2.5 inches in diameter and are pure white with a touch of pink in the center. A full grown plant can be between 2-3 feet tall, with 7-12 blooms on a stem.
These delicate flowers open up with a pale green color, but within a week, change to the pure white form of the classic dendrobium. The size of the flower is about 2.8 inches in diameter, and the potted plant will grow to about 28 inches in height. These flowers have a classic elegance to them, and so are often used to in baptismal ceremonies or to express enduring, romantic love.
If you are looking for a larger type of flower, then this is the variety for you. This plant retains the purity of the white orchids, and makes a beautiful centerpiece.
Dendrobium Nobile: White
This is a higher maintenance dendrobium orchid, requiring bright light and a consistently humid environment. This plant requires regular watering and fertilization during its growing period, but once blooming needs to be slowly weaned off of both. This is an ideal plant for the buyer who is looking for a bit more of challenge.
For centuries they have been revered for their beauty, purity and exotic qualities, however there is nothing more cherished then these particular flowers. They are ideal plants for the beginner grower, as they retain their beauty while being fairly easy to maintain. In addition, they are the perfect flower for weddings, showers, baptisms or any other occasion where you want to express your admiration for love, beauty and purity.