The Meaning and Symbolism of ORCHID

The most highly coveted of ornamental plants, the delicate, exotic and graceful orchid represents love, luxury, beauty and strength. In ancient Greece, orchids were associated with virility. In fact, Greek women believed that if the father of their unborn child ate large, new orchid tubers, the baby would be a boy. If the mother ate small orchid tubers, she would give birth to a girl. Ancient Chinese revered orchids as “ Lan Hua” epitome of human perfection.

a white Phalaenopsis orchid hybrid on display in an International Orchid Show


The flower symbolism associated with the orchid is love, beauty, refinement, many children, thoughtfulness and mature charm. Orchids have become a major market throughout the world. Buyers now bid hundreds of dollars on new hybrids or improved ones. Orchids are one of the most popular cut flowers on the market

During the Victorian era, orchid symbolism shifted to luxury, and today this sense of magnificence and artful splendor continues, with orchids representing rare and delicate beauty. The 14th and 28th wedding anniversary, pink orchids convey pure affection, and the popular cattleya orchid represents mature charm.  With a universal message of love, beauty, wisdom and thoughtfulness, the graceful orchid symbolizes affection and understanding.

In some Philippine tribes of Calayan islands, Manobo, Bagobo , Aeta , orchids are worshiped and revered as guardians of the forest.

Orchids is also one of the most desired plants suitable such a gift. Telling your loved ones about the special history behind these flowers can only enhance them. Orchids have been apt greeting flowers for different occasions unlike roses. Even though roses are cheaper, an orchid enjoys a higher status when compared with roses. Orchids have enduring qualities, which make it best for greeting flowers than any other. This enduring flower can hang around your affection and a sense of security for a longer period that no other floral gift can provide. Moreover the very concept of orchid can make the heir feel valuable when presented to them.

Fertility

In ancient Greece it was believed that orchids were a symbol of fertility and virility. It was even believed that consuming the flower could determine the sex of an unborn child. If the father of an unborn child ate large, new orchid tubers then the woman would have a boy.

On the other hand if the mother ate small orchid tubers she would have a girl. If you are trying to have a baby this could be a meaningful gift to your spouse. Or this could be a pretty and meaningful gift for someone who is expecting a baby.

The concept of the similarity of the orchid tubers to the testicle, developing in an age when the Doctrine of Signatures was prevalent throughout Europe, endowed the orchid plant with mysterious powers to enhance the sexual prowess and fertility in man. The people of Middle Ages even believed that orchid plants came up from the drops of semen which fell to earth in meadows where animals came together to breed (Schweinfurth, 1959). Thus to the European eye, the orchid grew to be a symbol of sex.

Orchid flower meaning is love, beauty, refinement, and beautiful lady, Chinese symbol for many children, thoughtful, maturity, or charm. Cymbidium Orchids are one of the most popular and attractive orchids in the world because of the beautiful flowers

Luxury

In Victorian England orchids took on the mantle of luxury. No doubt this image stems from the fact that these flowers are hard to find anywhere but tropical places. Anyone during this era who could afford to buy these exotic blooms would have to be a rich person. Orchids still have a connotation of luxury as they are still hard to find and exotic.

Perfection and Beauty

The shape of orchids has been mentioned as geometric in comparison to the curvier forms of other flowers. The straight lines that run through these flowers have led them to be a symbol of perfection and beauty. This has to do with the notion that beauty can be found in symmetry. The varied colors of these flowers will give you many choices in terms of which beautiful bloom you wish to use or present someone with.

The spots on orchids are also sometimes used to represent the blood of Christ. This symbolism would make these flowers a wonderful choice for an Easter brunch table. They would also make wonderful altar decorations on special services and occasions. Although these meanings may not be well known, everyone will be able to admire the effect of having these flowers around the altar and church.

Nobility

Oriental man got enamored of the beauty and fragrance of the orchid flower and started to cultivate it .To him the orchid was the symbol of everything graceful and feminine, noble and refined. Confucius is said to have remarked that acquaintance with good men is like entering a room full of fragrant Ian. The Javanese believed that their jewel orchids were bits torn from the jeweled cloak left behind by a fairy princess when she came to visit the earth and had to take off in a hurry because of the callousness of the people (Yeoh Bok Choon, 1970). The Japanese believed their native Neofinetia falcata is Fuh-ki-ran-the flower of wealth and nobility.

Orchids are worthy gifts of flowers that awake a sense of royalty. From time, this flower has been paced as a costly gift that shows that the heir is the most valued one in one’s life. Thus the flower, Orchid can craft the occasion into royal and a different gift to your nearest ones. Many from miscellaneous walks of life and professions have impressed orchid’s mysterious appeal.

Zodiac Symbols:

Don’t be fooled by the Aquarian’s love for independence – underneath this zodiac sign’s penchant for autonomy lies a thriving romantic streak as well. An air sign with an honest, loyal, spiritual and intuitive nature, Aquarians are exceptionally committed and faithful to the people they love. And because they can usually be counted on to see the positive side of any situation, the people they love, love to be around them.

And with symbolism tied to love, beauty and strength, orchids will resonate with this birth sign’s sense of loyalty. Choose pink orchids, representing pure affection, to fuel their romantic streak or surprise them with cattleya orchids to convey mature charm. If you are born in this zodiac sign, you can choose orchids as a perfect plant.

National Flower

There are many countries of the world, Flowers particularly orchids have been chosen as symbols to represent specific geographic areas. Some countries have a countrywide floral emblem; others in addition have symbols representing subdivisions. Different processes have been used to adopt these symbols – government bodies confer some, whereas others are the result of informal public polls. The term floral emblem, which refers to flowers.

specifically, is primarily used in Australia like state of Queensland that uses Dendrobium biggibum as their floral emblem.

In the United States, Minnesota state flower is Cypripedium reginae

Countries that adapted orchids as their national flower countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, Argentina, Venezuela, Panama, Cayman Island, Guatemala, and Seychelles.

Red envelope together with paper heart valentines in a local orchid store ( Vic’s Orchid and Ornamental Plant )

New Year and New Beginning

Mandarin the official language of China, the first syllable for this sound like ‘Fu’ meaning wealth and riches. So well placed phalaenopsis, particularly the reds, pinks, and yellows would bring good fortune.

In Hong Kong where Feng Shui governs every aspect of life and especially in business, Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium and Dendrobium orchids are in great demand especially during the Chinese New Year. Great quantities of phals are produced in South China and Taiwan for the New Year. This fragrant flower has for centuries represented the virtue, moral excellence, and refinement of the superior man whose reputation precedes him like perfume. Often used as a symbol for spring,

Most Asian countries like Taiwan, China, Macau, Malaysia , Singapore , Thailand, Japan, and Korea had a practice of giving potted live orchids or having flowering orchids in their homes during this time of the year.  Chinese New Year hot item in Taiwan called “phalaenopsis.” Many people especially businessmen are sending this orchid to their clients rather than the usual hampers. The orchid, which is also considered a feng shui plant, is pretty and is believed to bring prosperity and good luck to the owner.

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5 thoughts on “The Meaning and Symbolism of ORCHID

  1. Fantastic Blog! Thank you! I am slightly obssesed with them and always find my self reading up on them when I am not making fabric versions onmy owns.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog , fellow plant enthusiast . In the Philippines, there re a lot of folklore with regards to cultivating orchids, There are also orchid species which are almost worship by native tribes like Phalaenopsis sanderiana ( Salapung ) , Aerides quinquivulnera forma alba ( Sanguy Yep-yep ) which the natives called ” Flower of the Sacred Sleep” , Dendrobium anosmum ( Sanggumay ) Denrdobium crumenatum ( dove orchid) Cymbidium finlaysonianum which the local believes growing them brings fertility and good luck.

      While Euanthe sanderiana ( Waling-waling ) is deeply rooted in the culture and mythology Manobo and Bagobo tribes in Mindanao.

      I wanted to publish all these stories and people who collects these orchids species since it is part of our rich ethno-botanical history and the urgent need to conserve these valuable orchid species . We need to pass this stories to the present generation which somehow forgot the real value behind these orchid species.

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