The orchid tree is the broad term for a number of different species. Despite their name, orchid trees don’t actually bear orchids – they do however produce flowers that look a little like orchids.
They are all beautiful and majestic, and generally they all grow in hot or tropical areas of the world. They can grow up to around 40 feet in height and tower over their areas that they grow.
This list will examine all different types of orchid trees – see if you can think of what we’re including!
We’ll start our list with orchids in the Bauhinia genus.
The yellow bauhinia or B.Tomentosa is a type of orchid tree that is native to African areas, India and Sri Lanka.
It grows to around 13 feet and has a bright yellow color with a hairy stem to it. They have bright green leaves and are an amazing addition to a lot of international parks that have had them imported.
Red Orchid Bush
The red orchid or B. Galpiniini is a type of orchid shrub that primarily grows in South Africa and has a local name of the Pride of De Kaap, named after a South African botanist.
With bilobed leaves, this orchid is beautiful and in some ways looks similar to strawberries in a bush. It’s a popular place for small birds to congregate and harvest, and it’s an ideal addition to anybody’s garden!
Despite being called a bush, it can grow up to 15 feet tall, towering over most of its land. It does not do well in frosty conditions though, like any orchid tree – so it grows in much warmer conditions.
The White Orchid
This is a subspecies of the Brazilian orchid and has snowy, dark white flowers that appear to spike out from their shrubbery.
B.Forficata is not the most colorful of orchids, but it certainly has an intriguing look to it.
The Purple Orchid
B. Variegata or B. Purpurea is also known as the Hawaiian orchid and grows primarily in the Asian areas near Myanmar but is also seen in Hawaii and some other parts of mainland United States like Florida.
Due to its flowery shape, it’s sometimes known as the camel’s foot. It has 4-5 petals growing in a foot or hand shape. It has a bright purple color and can grow to around 35 feet tall.
It’s known to have a very fragrant, sweet and flowery smell to it which entices anyone that encounters it.
The Hong Kong Orchid
The Hong Kong orchid tree or B. X Blakeana is a strikingly attractive type of orchid. It’s the national emblem for Hong Kong and for good reason.
It symbolizes peace and prosperity and has one of the most amazing aromas to it. It’s one of the most commonly seen orchids in the world.
The cow’s hoof is the branch name for the Brazilian orchid that we saw previously on this list. The subspecies grows white whereas this has a much darker color to it and the branches and stork itself is a very tough and sturdy wood.
The Dwarf White Orchid
These orchid flowers grow like a pod and are bright white with a pointed inner bulb. They grow to around 8 feet tall and grow around Indonesia and Borneo.
Due to their size, these orchids are normally chopped and placed inside people’s homes as an ornamental plant.
Only found in Peru, this orchid is a delightful flower that grows bright yellow with a little “sunflower” looking center. Very little is known about this species, but it is a visually pleasing and unique type of orchid.
This is a very small type of orchid shrub that only appears in South Africa. It’s bright white and grows full and fresh, despite its small height stature.
Due to habitat loss, this is endangered and very difficult to find.
Pom Pom Orchid
This type of orchid is native to China and India but is also found in the United States – in the bottom end Florida!
Its bi-lobed leaves make it look very similar to a bright purple dandelion crossed with a rose. It’s a very old plant when it comes to its recording – as early as the 18th century!
This Ecuadorian native orchid is a legume species and can only grow in very humid conditions. It has a floral smell to it and is very difficult to source.
As its name suggests, this type of orchid used to grow widely across Texas but also in Northern areas of Mexico and is extremely bright.
The flowers are usually a bright white and pure color, but sometimes in rare circumstances, the flowers can be pink too.
They no longer grow in the wild so much, but you can still find them in nurseries and other areas.
This orchid is very intriguing, in that the areas it grows are very different. Originally, they grew naturally in Madagascar but traveled over to Australia, Burma, The United States, The Caribbean, The Pacific Islands and Christmas Island.
The leaves are a lighter shade of pink and the fruit itself is a much darker red. Before the flowers are born, the pods are long and thin – which resemble chili peppers or cucumbers.
Otherwise known as the Kalahari white, these orchids grow across a vast area of Africa. The trees grow up to around 7 feet tall and have lots of different uses.
Locals use the seeds for coffee, oil and to eat raw – which apparently have a very crunchy and salty taste, similar to that of peanuts.
Roots are used for making ropes, helpful to many people who live in the areas where they grow and even the United States. The orchid is also used in some medicines to heal wounds, treat diarrhea and female infertility.
Bidi Leaf Tree
Also known as the Bauhinia Racemosa, and grows high with branches that droop over to around 16 feet tall. This orchid is native to Southeastern areas of Asia and are revered and used in the Hindu religion during a religious holiday.
This type of orchid is only found in very specific areas of Africa and has a completely unique appearance to it. Their leaves are incredibly dark green which typifies the rest of the color of this orchid.
The flowers themselves are a dark brown color and resemble pastries or long, thin chocolate sticks. Their shoots look similar to thorns, but they are not as sharp as they appear.
Growing very tall, this is an indigenous orchid tree that grows in the tropical areas of the Americas. The appearance of this orchid is almost alien. It looks like a jellyfish or a collection of worms that hang from the center of their pod.
The surrounding leaves are dark green and provide the fruits with enough shelter and moisture for them to continue growing healthily.
The Mountain Ebony
Despite its name, the flower from this orchid does not look dark or ebony – it’s more of a light and dark mixture of pink and white.
The small leaves look delicate and almost cotton-like or feathery. They come from Southeast Asia and are cultivated and used in Indian and Nepalese cuisine.
Yogurts and potato dishes are made when the flowers are boiled up and then spices and salt is added to give it an extra pop!
Now, for the less common genus.
This species is also known as the Pride of Burma and has a bright crimson finish with long stems. They are native to Myanmar and are famously shaped in a curved set of triangle petals.
This species is often depicted in Asian artwork and other pottery.
Genus: Magnolia Champaca
This species, in English is otherwise known as Champaca or the joy perfume tree is native to South Asian countries and the surroundings.
It grows with what look like olives or grapes drooping from the stems and bright orange flowers. The wood is used in many woodworking tasks and acts as a fantastic, strong and visually pleasing timber.
Due to its growth, there are plenty of these growing in these Asian areas and this makes it one of the most popular trees for wood cultivation and usage.
Genus: Monodora Tenuifolia
This species was first noted by an English botanist called George Bentham. He named it after its leaves which are a mix of texture between leather and paper.
The beautiful colors are crossed with white as a primary background and then tiger, brown stripes around the rest of the flower. Similar to that of a sea creature with its color, this connection continues with its shape that bends and weaves around the wood.
Orchid trees are vast, and each one is strikingly beautiful in its own way. They love warm weather and climate, so you’re unlikely to find one of these in the snow!
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