Orchid – amazing and mysterious flower
Today you can buy it almost in every flower shop for quite reasonable price. But 150-200 years ago Europe experienced a real “orchid mania”. One orchid flower was worth a fortune!
The first victim of the Orchids fever had become England. Moreover, according to one version, famous explorer James Cook “infected” the Old World with it. In 1775 he returned from the second around the world voyage and presented the Duke of Devonshire with the orchid – striking example of the tropical beauty. Orchids became his passion. He spent a fortune equipping costly expedition overseas. The Duke became the owner of a tropical greenhouse with the best collection of orchids in the XVIII century. Well-known millionaire Rothschild gathered an impressive collection of orchids. The demand for flowers was so high that there was even a profession orchid hunter.
Benedict Roezl was one of the most famous orchid hunters. He discovered 800 new species of the plant! More than a million plants were ferried across the ocean for flower companies of Britain and Belgium.
As a result of the hunting many species of orchids were ruthlessly exterminated and now some of them are on the brink of extinction…
Orchids are known for their exotic and beautiful flowers. The flowers often smell very sweet. There are tens of thousands of different kinds of orchids. Today orchids can be found all over the world, except near the North and South poles.
Some orchid flowers are tiny. Others are very large. One petal is separate from the rest. It is called the “lip.”
Their rare beauty makes orchids very popular with flower collectors. They can be almost any color, and some have spots or streaks.
The flavoring known as “vanilla,” which is used in cooking many cakes, ice creams, and puddings, is made from the seedpods of certain orchids.
Confucius called orchid “King of fragrant flowers.”
According to psychologists, the sight of blooming orchid can cure depression. In addition, the orchid does not cause allergies – a rare quality for flowering plants.
Japan Grand Prix International Orchid Festival has been held annually for more than twenty years.
In the East, orchid is a symbol of rebirth, spring, love and fertility.