Orchids are exceptional blooms and belong to a group of flowering plants that have been around longer than any others. Before they were officially named, the Phalaenopsis Orchid was dubbed “the moth orchid” after Swedish Naturalist, Peter Osbeck saw what he believed was a cluster of moths out his window. In reality, he spied this wondrous flower. In modern times, Dendrobium Orchids are so special that respected celebrities and admired leaders, such as Jane Goodall, Joe and Jill Biden, and Margaret Thatcher have different types named after them.
For over 26 to 110 million years, cultures all over the world have been influencing the significance of orchids. From the Aztecs and Ancient Greeks to wealthy Victorian families, orchids have developed a diverse history of usage and symbols. Today, the orchid symbolizes things such as refinement, thoughtfulness, beauty, fertility, charm, strength, and love. Your friends and flower experts here at The Blossom Shop, Charlotte’s best florist, are excited to share this unique, rich history and meaning behind your favorite orchids.
The Symbolism of Orchids Throughout History
As orchids were a strong symbol of fertility, the ancient Greeks used to believe in predicting gender by way of orchid roots. Orchids having a small tuberous root predicted a female child and orchids having a large tuberous root predicted a male child. In modern days, orchids are still linked to fertility, especially pink orchid flowers.
As orchids became a symbol of strength and power to the ancient Aztecs, they believed these flowers would promote such qualities within themselves. They created elixirs of chocolate and white orchids to boost their own strength and power. Once the most powerful kingdom in Mesoamerica, does a certain amount of credit really belong to the orchid?
In the Victorian Era, the wealthy and royal families couldn’t find enough orchids to adorn their homes with. In turn, these beautiful blooms became a symbol of luxury and refined taste. Some give credit for this obsession known as the “Orchidelirium,” to Charles Darwin and his 1862 work on orchid fertilization. Today, orchids are still connected to refinement and purple orchids remain a symbol of royalty.
From lung disease and stomach deficiencies to eye disease and kidney ailments, orchids were utilized in ancient Chinese medicine to help treat these illnesses. A popular orchid type used in this practice was the dendrobium orchid, commonly called the “Bamboo Orchid” based on its resemblance to bamboo. Today, a symbol of good health is found in the green orchid. It’s a great choice to give loved ones who are ill or recovering.
Throughout history, we have seen orchids as a symbol for strength and power, luxury, and fertility. As Japanese culture also recognizes these orchid meanings, their origin stories look a little different. Orchids became a symbol of strength, power, and even a rich and luxurious life, due to their ability to adapt and thrive in various habitats from the mountains to the plains. Today, many homes and offices in Japan display beautiful orchids in hopes their symbol of fertility will bring good fortune to both their life and business.
Today, orchids are used as a wonderful fragrance in beauty products, perfumes, and candles. They’re also the perfect bloom to celebrate a multitude of occasions and the little moments life brings. From Cymbidium and Dendrobium to Phalaenopsis orchids, their symbolism includes fertility, refinement, love, charm, thoughtfulness, and beauty. Find the freshest blooms and loveliest orchids here at The Blossom Shop.