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Term Definition

An unbranched inflorescence with one flower. A simple flower inflorescence that is topped by a solitary flowex, such as in many Papbiopedilum.



Orchid seeds are by far the smallest in the flowering plant kingdom but to compensate for this, they are produced in vast quantities. For example, Dactylorhiza maculata each capsule contains about 6,200 seeds. Cymbidium has 1,500,000, Maxillaria about 1,700,000 and Cattleya up to 5 million seeds per capsule.


seed pod

The capsule bearing the seeds of an orchid.



An unbloomed young orchid.



A white flower with a colored lip.



One of the three outer parts of an orchid flower, one of which is usually topmost and known as the dorsal, the other two lower sepals being known as the laterals.



Term used to refer to orchids that grow near or on the ground in extremely loose, open substrate.



A modified leaf that encloses an emerging inflorescence or leaf.



An orchid that is related to another orchid by virtue of having been produced from the same seedpod.


sibling cross

Method of seed propagation of an orchid wherein the pollen of 'one orchid is placed on the stigma of another orchid that was originally grown in the same seedpod as the first orchid, therefore a cross pollination of siblings.


somaclonal variation

Genetic variants arising from tissue culture.



A kind of plant that is distinct from other plants.



A group of living things that appear to have common ancestry so closely related that their characteristics definitely separate them all from any other group; a further division of a genus.



Term usually used to refer to an orchid that has been allowed to grow to great size and floriferousness instead of being divided; also refers to the species that typifies a genus.



An unbranched inflorescence of unstalked flowers. Term often loosely used to refer to all flower inflorescences, but technically an unbranched flower stem with short-stalked or stalkless flowers.


splash petal

An orchid flower that modifies its petals by duplicating the coloring found on the lip; a type of peloric condition.



A part of the plant that supports something else.



The male, pollen


stem prop

Loose term for "meristem propagation" or the plant that results from this technique.


stem propagation

Sticky area of the pistil of a flower that receives the pollen.



A branch that grows horizontally above the medium and produces roots and shoots at the nodes.



The breathing pores on the surface of a plant's leaves.



Orchids which grow laterally and produce leafy growths along a rhizome. One of the two forms of orchid growth (the other is monopodial), wherein each new growth arises from the rhizome of a previous growth, and each new growth is completely capable of bearing an inflorescence.



Term used to describe pesticides or fungicides that are taken up by plant leaves and growths and then work from within the plant.