Orchid Facts for Kids

A Picture of an Orchid
  • Plant Name: Orchid
  • Plant Type: Flowering Plant
  • Plant Family: Orchidaceae
  • Plant Genera: 763
  • Plant Order: Asparagales
  • Total Species: 28,000+

17 Orchid Facts for Kids

  1. Orchid is the common name for tens of thousands of flowering plants in the Orchidaceae family.
  2. The Orchidaceae family is known as the orchid family and is one of the largest flowering plants family.
  3. The type genus for the Orchidaceae family is Orchis.
  4. The type species for the Orchis genus is the military orchid (military orchid).
  5. There are over 28,000 species across 763 genera that share the common name orchid.
  6. The largest genus in the Orchidaceae family is Bulbophyllum with around 2,000 species.
  7. Fossil evidence suggests that orchids could have appeared as far back as 120 million years ago.
  8. Orchids are found growing on every continent around the world, except Antarctica.
  9. Orchids are a popular, if not the most popular houseplant in the world.
  10. Many orchid species take a long time to bloom, the orchids you buy in a store can be well over 5 years old.
  11. Orchids come in vast variety of unique shapes, vivid colors and sizes.
  12. The smallest orchid species is the Platystele jungermannioides. The petals of this orchid species are so small they are transparent and only as thick as one cell.
  13. The largest orchid species is the tiger orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum). The tallest tiger orchid ever measured was 25 feet high and is certified in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest orchid.
  14. The orchid species Vanilla planifolia is one of the main sources of vanilla flavoring for food.
  15. The monkey orchid (Dracula simia) has a flower that has a very striking resemblance of a monkey’s face.
  16. The bumblebee orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora) has a flower that mimics the appearance of a female solitary bee to attract their male counterparts for pollination.
  17. The large duck orchid (Caleana major) is popular for its flower that resembles a flying duck.

Additional Resources on Orchids

  • What is an Orchid – Learn what an orchid is on the Michigan State University website.
  • A to Z List of Orchids – View a list of all the orchid species on the American Orchid Society website.
  • How to Grow Orchids – Discover how you can grow orchids in your home or backyard on the Gardener’s website.
  • Orchid – Wikipedia – Read more about orchids and the Orchidaceae family on the Wikipedia website.