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Top 10 Orchid Terms You Should Know

June 16, 2009

As an orchid grower, it is helpful to carry knowledge about orchids so here are a few tips on terms to make you sound orchid savvy.

  • Column – the tiny, rounded, column-like extension between the two largest petals. This little guy is the central reproductive organ of the orchid flower
  • Inflorescence – the flowering part of a plant
  • Keiki – a small plant growing from a node on the flower stem
  • Lip – the part of the flower that is almost completely divided from the rest of the flower, however, it is connected by the column. The lip is specialized to aid in pollination
  • Medium – the material added to an orchid’s container, which can range from varieties such as soil to bark
  • Node – A distinct joint or notch on the inflorescence from which a secondary flower stem can emerge from after the primary inflorescence has finished blooming
  • Sepal – the outer segments on an orchid flower. Similar to petals, sepals are the three smaller segments of the flower that create a triangular shape
  • Spike – a flower stalk
  • Throat – the inner portion of a tubular orchid lip, often quite colorful
  • Yellowing – term used when a leaf is literally yellowing, which indicates an issue with the orchid

Pop quiz! What’s a keiki? If you guessed right without peeking, then your brain can store information like a pseudobulb stores water!