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Interesting Orchid Facts

Today's post will hopefully make you say, "Wow, I didn't know that".  There are so many interesting things about orchids and we love to share to make you even smarter than you already are!  We know they are some of the most beautiful plants in the world, but after reading this, you will also think they are some of the most fascinating.  Read on to learn  little known facts about our favorite plant.

1. The vanilla flavoring that we use for cooking and other things in our home actually comes from an orchid plant.  It's the Vanilla Planifolia or flat-leafed vanilla plant.  The flavoring is made from using the seed pods and seeds within.

2. While orchids are commonly thought to be tropical, they can actually be found growing on every continent on the globe except Antartica.

3. Orchids are in the Orchidaceae family which is one of two of the largest families of flowering plants with over 25,000 naturally occurring species in the world (and more are being discovered every day!).  The number of orchid species is almost 5-times the number of mammal species.

4. The genus Orchis comes from an Ancient Greek word meaning "testicle" because of the shape of the bulbous roots.  The term "orchid", which is just a shortened form of the family Orchidaceae, was not introduced until 1845.

5. Scientists have found that Orchids have existed on earth for over 100 million years according to fossil evidence (orchid pollen was found on the back of a bee that had been encased and fossilized in amber.

There you have it!  Don't you feel smarter?  Jeopardy, here you come!