Orchid flowers are extraordinarily diverse in shape- and coloring. They should ensure the conservation of the species under all circumstances. The opinion, that the same effect can be achieved with less effort or with greater certainty, may well be justified. However, we must not forget the oversized tropical growth and with it the struggle of every plant for its existence.
Idle, to argue about it, which of the two most obvious properties - shape or color – the preference is to be given. Everyone can decide for themselves. The shape of the flowers in orchids is the unconventional, Unpredictable. Let us assume flowers of Phalaenopsis, they can be perfectly beautiful in their form, noble and perfect. In this they resemble others, more common flowers, to whom we generally assign such predicates from tradition or timeless standards. It is completely different with an immense number of orchid species, whose flower shapes are completely different from the usual, familiar to us. The transitions from aesthetically beautiful to what seems almost absurd to us are unique in the plant kingdom within a family. A whole range of terms is required and our vocabulary is hardly likely to suffice, aptly characterize the properties. I have already given one example: Phalaenopsis, beautiful, noble, ethereally light. Cattleya look graceful, bright, elated. Paphiopedilum, on the other hand, address us with refined reserve, they stand cool and serene on their stalks. The same goes for Cymbidium, only cheerfulness is mixed in here through the multitude of flowers on a stem. How very different it is with the almost animal-like appearance of the flowers of Stanhopea, Catasetum, Coryanthes and others. Have you ever seen the flowers of Catasetum gnomus?? Like intimidated little birds, they perch on the flower-bearing stem, unprecedented in their peculiarity. Religious feelings are also addressed. Just an example: Peristera tools, the flower of the “Holy Spirit”. One over 1 m high inflorescence develops a multitude of milk-white, fragrant flowers. Each of them carries in their midst, symbolic of their name, a tiny pigeon, formed from the three-part lip and the beaked column. Its tragic fate lies in the delightful beauty of the plant. It is almost wiped out by the greed of the people. Thousands of natives brought them to market in their homeland, to offer them to strangers for sale.
In some villages and towns south- and Central American countries, the inhabitants plant rare albino forms of Cattleya, Lycaste and other orchids on the roofs of the churches. There you are reasonably safe from access by people who are greedy for profit.
If I – like right now – let me review the manifestations of orchid flowers I know or leaf through works of classical or modern orchid literature, so it seems impossible to me, to do justice to all beauty in words. Pictures can do it better, however, you can fully enjoy the beauty simply by looking and experiencing the flowers yourself, knowing that they are becoming and passing away.