Orchids are flowering plants and the largest in their family. Different orchid species are still being discovered, with over 25,000 already documented. Orchids can be found on every continent on Earth, which means they can survive in all types of climates. They are primarily seen as tropical plants but can be found in the harsh weather of the Arctic Circle.
Orchids greatly vary in size. They can be found as small as a dime, and the largest orchids weigh over 300 pounds. The seeds on an orchid are the tiniest in the world. This makes orchids a hard plant to grow and cultivate. In one seedpod in an orchid, up to three million seeds can be found.
When first planted, orchid flowers may not be seen until at least five or seven years of age. The flowers on an orchid can bloom for a few hours or almost six months. Orchid flowers end up growing upside down when they reach a mature state. The orchid plant can live to be 100 years old.
There is a vanilla orchid that produces a vanilla bean and is commercially sold. This type of orchid is the only commercially grown orchid other than for flowers.