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**Botanical Characteristics**:
– Orchids belong to the family Orchidaceae, one of the largest flowering plant families.
– Orchids make up 6-11% of all seed plant species.
– They are diverse flowering plants found in various habitats.
– Orchids are perennial herbs without woody structures.
– They grow monopodially or sympodially.
– Terrestrial orchids may have rhizomes, corms, or tubers.
– Epiphytic orchids have modified aerial roots for absorbing humidity.
Orchid leaves are generally simple with parallel veins, varying in shape and size.
– Some orchids have ornamental leaves with unique patterns.
Orchid flowers have three sepals, three petals, and a three-chambered ovary.
– One petal is usually modified into a lip or labellum.
Orchid flowers exhibit bilateral symmetry and are often colorful and fragrant.

**Reproduction and Pollination**:
– Orchids reproduce through seeds and symbiotic relationships with fungi.
– They have intricate pollination mechanisms and attract pollinators through mimicry.
– Orchids have evolved complex mechanisms for cross-pollination.
– Pollinators are attracted by the shape, colors, and odors of orchid flowers.
– Orchids can self-pollinate or cross-pollinate and rely on various reproductive strategies for successful propagation.
Orchid ovaries develop into capsules dehiscent by longitudinal slits.
Orchid seeds are almost microscopic and rely on fungal symbiosis for germination.
– Most orchid species lack endosperm in their seeds.

**Taxonomy and Evolution**:
– Orchids belong to the order Asparagales and have a long evolutionary history dating back to the Late Cretaceous.
– Genetic sequencing suggests orchids may have originated around 100 million years ago.
– Orchids have diversified significantly in the last 5 million years, especially in the American and Asian tropics.
– Orchids exhibit a wide distribution globally, with some species found in extreme regions.
Orchid species hybridize easily in cultivation, leading to a wide variety of hybrids with complex naming.
– The taxonomy of orchids is in constant flux, clarified by molecular phylogenetic studies.

**Ecology and Distribution**:
– Orchids are found in almost every habitat except glaciers, with the highest diversity in tropical regions.
– Most orchids are perennial epiphytes or terrestrial plants found in tropical and subtropical regions.
– Orchids form symbiotic relationships with fungi for nutrients and are myco-heterotrophic during germination.
– Orchids are cosmopolitan plants, adapting to various environmental conditions.
– Orchids can be found in diverse regions globally, from Oceania to Europe and temperate Asia.

**Uses and Cultural Significance**:
– Orchids are used for decoration, fragrance analysis, and cultivation for their flowers.
Orchid societies promote cultivation, collection, conservation, and research.
– Some orchids have culinary uses, such as vanilla seed pods and edible tubers.
– Orchids hold symbolic value in various countries and are depicted in ancient art.
– Assisted migration has been used as a conservation tool for orchids endangered by climate change.

Orchid (Wikipedia)

Orchids are plants that belong to the family Orchidaceae (/ˌɔːrkɪˈdsi., -si./), a diverse and widespread group of flowering plants with blooms that are often colourful and fragrant. Orchids are cosmopolitan plants that are found in almost every habitat on Earth except glaciers. The world's richest diversity of orchid genera and species is found in the tropics.

Temporal range: 80–0 Ma Late Cretaceous – Recent
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Type genus
Distribution range of family Orchidaceae

Orchidaceae is one of the two largest families of flowering plants, along with the Asteraceae. It contains about 28,000 currently accepted species distributed across 763 genera.

The Orchidaceae family encompasses about 6–11% of all species of seed plants. The largest genera are Bulbophyllum (2,000 species), Epidendrum (1,500 species), Dendrobium (1,400 species) and Pleurothallis (1,000 species). It also includes Vanilla (the genus of the vanilla plant), the type genus Orchis, and many commonly cultivated plants such as Phalaenopsis and Cattleya. Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species into cultivation in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.

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