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Orchids belong to the family Orchidaceae and is one of the largest and most varied of the plant kingdom. There are over 25,000 species found all over the world, but mostly in the tropics. Orchids are mostly epiphytes-plants growing on other plants which are called hosts, generally trees. Ground growing orchids are called terrestrials. Lithophytes are found growing on rocks. The most familiar types of orchids are cattleya, phalaenopsis, dendrobium and oncidium. These fascinating orchids come in all shapes, size, texture and color.
Orchid cultivation began in the mid 1800's in England. Only the wealthy could afford an orchid plant. Orchids are slow growing and were difficult to propagate. There was also a mystery behind growing orchids. Early orchid growers had a difficult time cultivating orchids. With the discovery of micro-propagation, award winning orchids are readily available and affordable. Researchers unlocked the secrets of growing orchids. Today, anyone can grow an orchid and watch it continually bloom if a few cultural requirements are met.
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