The exquisite orchids, in spite of their reputation, are remarkably tolerant and will flourish in the, given a little warmth.
Orchids arewith often bizarre flowers. Almost half are terrestrial (growing on the ground), but the rest are epiphytic (living on branches of trees or on rocks). The epiphytes obtain food from air and rain-water and from humus in bark crevices by means of special roots — these orchids are generally the easiest to grow.
Most epiphytic orchids consist of a horizontal rhizome from which arise upright and usually swollen bulbous stems, known as pseudo-. Fleshy aerial roots may grow from the stems. The leaves are strap-shaped or lance-shaped and are carried singly or in rigid tufts or fans.
Terrestrial orchids have either a tuft of fleshy roots at the base or underground tubers. The leaves —which are in tufts — are usually strap-shaped and more floppy than those of the epiphytic orchids; they are pale yellow or dark green, sometimes spotted with maroon.
Orchid flowers are composed of three sepals and three petals. The third petal is shaped into a lip.