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Orchids: An Ancient Symbol of Strength and Beauty

October 16, 2009

Caring for orchids is actually an ancient custom, so when you take one into your home, you're connecting yourself with a long line of history. Over 35,000 different species of orchids grow around the world, and in almost every climate, so it's easy to understand how the flowers have become part of many cultures, symbolizing something different to each.

In most cultures, as you might imagine when looking at an orchid, they have been seen as symbols of beauty, royalty or love. In Europe, orchids were used as a main ingredient in love potions. Today, the pink orchid is commonly designated as the 14th wedding anniversary flower, symbolizing affection and love.

Ancient Greeks associated orchids with virility and fertility. It was believed that if the father of an unborn child ate the largest and newest orchid stems and roots, then their child would be a male. But if the mother ate small orchid roots and stems, then she would give birth to a girl.

Victorian era Europeans saw orchids as symbols of luxury and elegance, largely because they were seen as tokens of the exotic East, and weren't readily available, needing special care in hothouses.

The symmetry of the flowers to its stems and leaves has led to the orchid being a symbol of beautiful perfection. In Christian theology, the spots on orchids are believed to represent the blood of Christ, so they are often found in Easter and even Christmas arrangements.

One of the most famous orchids is the vanilla orchid, which grew wild in Mexico where the Aztecs viewed it as a symbol of strength. They are said to have drunk a mixture made of vanilla orchid flowers as a strength potion.

We just think they add a touch of exotic beauty and class to any room!