Critical readers will ask the question, whether the treatment of this topic is at all justified here. Genetics is the science of inheritance. For most readers, an explanation of the problem appears to be unnecessary ballast when dealing with orchids. To a certain extent this opinion may be correct; but the striving to perfect our knowledge should not suffer.
Heredity with its laws is one of the most interesting sciences. It is not a well-defined one, narrowly limited area, but extends into biology, the cytology, Physiology, biochemistry, Morphogenesis, into evolution and ultimately into the practices of modern breeding work. It introduces us to the most secret and mysterious things in life, to operations, which take place in all manifestations of living nature with unimaginable, everlasting consistency – Hidden from our eyes and yet decisive for ourselves and our environment.
Johann Gregor Mendel, Abbot of the monastery in Brno, dealt with 1865 with crossing experiments on garden plants, mainly peas and beans. From this he developed Mendel's laws of inheritance as the basis of modern heredity; Mendel recognized the regularity in the division of a hybrid offspring into certain numerical proportions. They can be calculated in advance, if the number of inheritance differences involved is known. The behavior of the individual properties of a parent plant can be very different. Those hereditary factors, which are visibly passed on, is called "dominant". Others remain hidden, are therefore not visible and are labeled "recessive".
Inheritance is the transfer of an individual's characteristics to his or her offspring. It doesn't happen evenly; a parental trait can be passed on to all or only to a larger or smaller part of the offspring. The cause can be genetically identical or different plants or the effects of environmental influences.
With this conception of modern biology we are getting closer and closer to the core of our considerations, the mysterious rule of invisible forces in all living things.