The meaning of orchids

Since ancient times flowers and plants have been used to express feelings to others. During the Middle Ages, and even earlier, there was a great deal of value attached to symbolism. The red rose is a well-known example as a symbol of love. But what does the orchid mean? 

In ancient Greek society the orchid was known as a fertility plant and was a sign of masculinity. Later, during the Victorian times in Europe, orchids were prized for their beauty, richness and strength.   


There are numerous species of orchids that each have their own meaning.  The most famous orchid species is Phalaenopsis (or butterfly orchid). These orchids symbolise elegance, femininity and unity.   
 

The Cymbidium orchid is unique due to its branches
 with boat-shaped flowers and grassy leaves, and symbolizes morality and virtue. In Asia it is an honour and a gesture of respect and friendship to give or receive a Cymbidium.


The blue Vanda means peace in India. Vandas are rare and only sold at high-end florists and garden centres. A jewel to be cherished.


The Dendrobium orchid gets its name from the Greek 'dendron' meaning tree and 'bios' meaning ‘life'. Many species of Dendrobium are known for their excellent ability to purify the air of toluene (the key ingredient in thinner) and xylene (a resin and fat solvent). That is why they are seen as natural air fresheners. (source: thejoyofplants.co.uk)


The Paphiopedilum, also known as the Venus slipper, was officially described for the first time in 1886. It caused great excitement among Victorians because of its somewhat erotic appearance. For this reason, the Paphiopedilum is still symbolic as an exciting gift for lovers... 


Ever since it was introduced in its cultivated form in 1880, the Zygopetalum orchid has symbolized ‘a spiritual connection between people who belong together’ just as the various petals and lip belong together.

The orchid is a much-loved plant because of the many different flower shapes and colours. The special meanings make each plant unique and ideal to give as a truly personal gift.