9 Intriguing things you probably don’t know about orchids

From their practically microscopic seeds, to their tasty seed pods, to their worldwide range, these flowering beauties are nothing short of amazing. Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about them.

They Are the Largest Family of Flowering Plants

By some estimates, Orchidacea is the largest family of flowering plants, with at least 25,000 to 30,000 species

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Vanilla beans are actually seed pods from orchids in the genus Vanilla, which includes Vanilla planifolia (or Flat-Leaved Vanilla) and V. x tahitensis (a hybrid).

Vanilla Comes From Orchids

They Grow in Many Different Sizes

You’re likely familiar with the typical houseplant-sized orchid, but they can grow much, much larger. The flowers alone can weigh several hundred pounds, or grow no larger than a dime.

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The reproductive parts of many orchid species mimic the color and shape of certain insects — specifically, those that they need for help with pollination.

They Trick Insects Into Pollinating Them


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