Study raises concerns about prevalent orchid viruses

In a Plants, People, Planet study, researchers investigated the evolution of the two most prevalent orchid viruses using information representing their global distribution. The study revealed that considerable international ...

Discovery of non-blooming orchid on Japanese subtropical islands

A group of Japanese scientists has discovered a new orchid species on Japan's subtropical islands of Amami-Oshima and Tokunoshima that bears fruit without once opening its flowers. They named the new species Gastrodia amamiana, ...

Aussie plants facing extinction

The top 100 Australian plant species at risk of extinction have been identified by Threatened Species Recovery Hub research.

Warty hammer orchids are sexual deceivers

Orchids are famed for their beautiful and alluring flowers – and the great lengths to which people will go to experience them in the wild. Among Australian orchids, evocative names such as The Butterfly Orchid, The Queen ...

Partial mycoheterotrophs: The green plants that feed on fungi

You probably learned this basic lesson of biology in elementary school: Plants are self-feeders. These so-called autotrophs use the sun's energy and water to turn carbon dioxide from the air into food through the process ...

What's eating these endangered orchids?

A species of seed-feeding fly is critically damaging the seed production of multiple orchid species, as revealed by a group of Japanese researchers. If the damage caused by this fly is occurring long-term and across Japan, ...

Mechanism behind orchid beauty revealed

Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have identified the gene related to the greenish flower mutation in the Habenaria orchid. Associate Professor Akira Kanno and Ph.D. candidate Mai Mitoma have discovered that the greenish ...

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Orchidaceae

The Orchidaceae, commonly referred to as the orchid family, is a morphologically diverse and widespread family of monocots in the order Asparagales. Along with the Asteraceae, it is one of the two largest families of flowering plants, with between 21,950 and 26,049 currently accepted species, found in 880 genera. Selecting which of the two families is larger remains elusive because of the difficulties associated with putting hard species numbers on such enormous groups. Regardless, the number of orchid species equals more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species. It also encompasses about 6–11% of all seed plants. The largest genera are Bulbophyllum (2,000 species), Epidendrum (1,500 species), Dendrobium (1,400 species) and Pleurothallis (1,000 species).

The family also includes Vanilla (the genus of the vanilla plant), Orchis (type genus), and many commonly cultivated plants such as Phalaenopsis and Cattleya. Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.

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