About Orchids

Orchids belong to the family Orchidaceae,

one of the largest families of flowering plants.
There are approximately 28,000 orchid species recognized thus far, more than twice the number of bird species and approximately four times the number of mammal species!
They can be found all around the globe in more than 200 countries, among all continents except for Antarctica.
Some orchids are terrestrials, living on the ground in forests or grasslands. Others are epiphytes, adapting to life on trees or shrubs so they can obtain sufficient light in dense, tropical areas. Epiphytic orchids develop roots and stems which help to absorb and store water and nutrients.
Orchid flowers may look delicate, but they are actually quite hardy and durable. Species which are waxy can last for a few months, while others may go on to produce flowering spikes for as long as 8 months in the right conditions.
All orchids have three petals and usually three sepals, except in the Paphiopedilum group where two of the sepals are fused.
  • The two topmost petals are usually the most distinct and brightly-colored, while the bottom petal, known as the lip or labellum, is often highly modified and can come in various forms – large and multi-colored, fanned out, or pouch-like.
  •  Sepals make up the outer whorl of the perianth (structure that envelops the flower) that protects the unopened flower bud – they can appear very similar to the brightly-colored petals or modified and different.

The male and female reproductive parts of an orchid are fused together in a column located in the middle of the flower. When pollinators such as bees, moths, flies and butterflies visit the blooms, pollen gets attached to their bodies and is carried over to other plants.

 Singapore’s National Flower: Papilionanthe Miss Joaqium ‘Agnes’was named national flower of Singapore in 1981.

  • Singapore is the only country in the world to have a hybrid as her national flower
  •  Amongst 40 flowers, Papilionanthe Miss Joaqium ‘Agnes’ was selected as Singapore’s national flower on 15 April 1981 (the first registered orchid hybrid from Singapore). It was chosen for its qualities that are reflective of the Singapore spirit: o vibrant colours, hardiness and resilience, qualities that reflect the Singapore Spirit.
  •  Papilionanthe Miss Joaqium ‘Agnes’ is a cross between Papilionanthe teres and Papilionanthe hookeriana. Our national flower is formerly known as Vanda Miss Joaqium as its two parent plants were classified in the genus Vanda. However, research has shown that they are in fact in the genus Papilionanthe. Hence, our national flower is now known as Papilionanthe Miss Joaqium ‘Agnes’.