Family Orchidaceae Lindl.


Fam:   Orchidaceae Lindl.
English Name: Orchid family


Perennial herbaceous plants with unbranched stem (in Bulgarian and European representatives) and usually with 2 goals or devided root tuber or rhizome. Leaves in shape and size vary quite widely, but dominated Lancet. All have entire edge and parallel or arc mainly veined, located are spiral, rarely double-breasted or just at the base of the stem and attach them through vaginas. In saprophytic representatives leaves are reduced to yellow brown husk-similar without chlorophyll formations. Flowers hermaphroditic, different sizes (up to 7 - 8 cm in Cypripedium calceolus L. and smaller than 1 cm in species of the genera Spiranthes, Nigritella, etc.), Most often they are collected in a cluster, more rarely in wheatear-like outer inflorescences and very rarely single. Each flower in its base is more or less greenish or reddish bract. The flowers arranged by type 3 and 6 have perianth leaflets, arranged in two circles different inflorescence, wreath-similar and differently positioned relative to each other. Usually by twisting the pistil of 180° upper perianth occupies the bottom position. The lower of the three inner perianth leaflets most often is different from other issued forward and down as lip (labellum), but in the base most representatives of the family is extended to spur or very short overhang as hollow sac (Figure . 1 L). Except Сурripedium calceolus L (where there are two) and all Bulgarian and European Orchids too have only one stamen. Stamens are fused with the top part of the stalk of pistil and forms a so-called ginostemium (gynostemium). Most often it has 2 pollen nests, in each of which pollen grains are connected by sticky matter in pollen matter (pollmium), equipped with a handle (with sticky basis) and receive bat like structure (pollinarium) which generally pick up by insects in cross-pollination (Fig. 1 B, C). In some representatives however (species of the genera Cypripedium, Cephalanthera, Neottia) pollen grains are dust like and are not glued to a common mass. The carpophore  is formed by 3 fruit leaf with the lower single ovary (in all European species), that is often curved left or right to 180°. The fruit is usually bursting into 6 stitches box, rarely strawberry similar or no cracks in a box. Seeds are numerous, very small, barely visible to the naked eye, without food tissue. Pollination is by insects and spreading of seeds by wind. Most of the representatives of the family live in symbiosis with certain fungi.

Economic importance. Although many tropical Orchids due to its beautiful and their aromatic flowers can be grown as a greenhouse ornamental plants, and our European species are not valued as such mainly because a lot of their difficult upbringing. Therefore their rich content (50%) of mucus substances in root tubers our Orchidaceae, mainly some species of the genus Orchis, are used as medical plants (drugs Tubera salep).
¹ Developed by N. Stoyanov
"Флора на НР България", том II, БАН, София, (1964),

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The Orchidaceae are a diverse and widespread family of flowering plants, with blooms that are often colourful and often fragrant, commonly known as the orchid family. Along with the Asteraceae, they are one of the two largest families of flowering plants. The Orchidaceae have about 27,800 currently accepted species, distributed in about 880 genera.[2][3] The determination of which family is larger is still under debate, because verified data on the members of such enormous families are continually in flux. Regardless, the number of orchid species nearly equals the number of bony fishes and is more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species. The family also encompasses about 6–11% of all seed plants.[4] The largest genera are Bulbophyllum (2,000 species), Epidendrum (1,500 species), Dendrobium (1,400 species) and Pleurothallis (1,000 species).
The family also includes Vanilla (the genus of the vanilla plant), Orchis (type genus), and many commonly cultivated plants such as Phalaenopsis and Cattleya. Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species into cultivation in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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References: "Флора на НР България", том II, БАН, София, (1964), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Distribution in Bulgaria: (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Conservation status and threats: All Genera of Family Orchidaceae are protected in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. Законодателство на Република България: Закон за биологичното разнообразие


Genus Cephalanthera Rich. - No common name

Genus Dactylorhiza Necker ex Nevski, (1937) - Marsh orchid or Spotted

Genus Epipactis Adans.  - Liliopsid genus

Genus Gymnadenia R. BR. R. - Fragrant orchid

Genus Himantoglossum W. D. Koch - Lizard orchid

Genus Neottia SW. - Twayblades

Genus Ophrys L. - Bee orchids

Genus Orchis L. - x   x   x

Genus Platanthera Rich. - Bog orchid

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Decorative orchides


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