Types Of Orchids: 6 Group Of Orchids And Their Names

Orchids are the largest family of monocotyledonous plants. According to various estimates, there are 20-25 to 35 thousand varieties of orchids in the world. Among them, there are both species suitable for indoor cultivation and wild plants. Even experienced flower growers will have enough knowledge of the 25 most popular varieties.

types of orchids

Orchid types are divided into the following groups:

  • Phalaenopsis
  • Cymbidium
  • Paphiopedilums hybrids
  • Miltonia and miltoniopsis
  • Oncidiums
  • Spotted

We will discuss them in details.

Phalaenopsis Types

Phalaenopsis naturally grow in India and East Asia, preferring a hot climate with high air humidity. This is the most popular genus of orchids suitable for indoor cultivation.

Phalaenopsis characteristics:

  • easy to care for;
  • give spectacular flowers;
  • can be grown in blocks or in pots.

These are epiphytes, they prefer to attach to other tree-like plants. Common phalaenopsis reach a length of 1 meter, and miniature – 30 cm. The genus has 70 species.

phalaenopsis types

Popular: Melody, Goud Multiflora, Golden

Among the phalaenopsis, the most popular species was Melody. This is a flower 40-60 cm high, the optimum growing temperature of which is from +18 to +27 degrees. The inflorescences are lilac, with a crimson lip, covered with white spots, and along the edge with small dark pink specks. In diameter, they can reach 7 cm. The variety blooms 2 times a year, keeping inflorescences for 4 weeks.

The varieties such as Gold or Golden were also recognized. Particularly noteworthy is Brother Sara Gold, which blooms every 45-50 days. The blossoming buds reach 4-5 cm in diameter, there are several of them on one peduncle. The average height is from 30 to 40 cm, but with proper care and regular feeding, indicators of 65-70 cm can be reached.

Peculiarity! During the flowering period, the plant emits a caramel smell.

For collectors, the variety Multiflora Goud is of interest. It is distinguished by waxy inflorescences located on two peduncles at once, which acquire a soft dark yellow tint with a pink tint. The column of the plant is pink, the size of the flowers is 6.5 cm, and the maximum height is 35 cm.

Fancy: brown, blue, green

Varieties of the phalaenopsis family, in addition to the standard white, pink, yellow, can also be painted in rare shades. Of interest are the inflorescences of the following flowers:

  • chocolate;
  • light green;
  • blue.
Blue Phalaenopsis Orchid Care 1

Green varieties are rare. Often these are not plants with pure green inflorescences, but flowers, the petals of which are painted in light green along the border. These include the species Phalaenopsis violacea alba with a white central part.

Lovers of dark plants can pay attention to the Chocolate Prince and Stacy varieties. They are distinguished by a rich brown shade with a light border. The flowers are large, slightly darker in the center.

Important! In flower shops, you can also find blue phalaenopsis, but they will not retain such a rich color for a long time. A special color is achieved by feeding; it has not yet been possible to remove the pigment at the genetic level.

Check out Do natural blue orchids Exit.

Rare: Ladian striped and others

Among the representatives of the Phalaenopsis genus, there are varieties that have not become widespread due to the special way of feeding. The rarest variety is striped Ladian. It is a plant native to the United States, southern Canada and Mexico.

Ladyan’s height is small, fluctuates between 15-30 cm, but can reach half a meter. The main feature of the orchid is that it feeds on fungi, not tree plants. The flowers are dark pink, the stem is red or white. The leaf plates are devoid of chlorophyll.

The spectacular Coleman orchid is endangered. It is distinguished by curved striped petals. They are almost white along the edge, and the center is tinged with a pinkish tint. The stem is brown, without chlorophyll, nutrition is carried out not by the epiphytic method, but from the soil. This variety is found only in the United States, in the highlands of the states of Arizona and New Mexico.

Attention! The variety is on the verge of extinction due to constant forest fires.

See detail guide on Rare Orchid Flowers.

types of Cymbidium orchids

These are mainly epiphytes. In indoor conditions they live from 3 to 7 years, in nature they develop a little longer. The maximum height of the peduncle is 150 cm, the inflorescences are predominantly racemose, hanging. Cymbidium petals are lanceolate or sickle-shaped. The most popular color options are pink, cream and white.

Cymbidiums are most widespread in China and Japan due to the proximity of these countries to their natural habitat. In indoor conditions, about 100 species are grown, giving preference to miniature varieties.

types of cymbidium orchids


Cymbidium Tracy forms brown inflorescences with a creamy wavy lip covered with red spots. The height of the peduncle reaches 200 cm, but more often it is in the range of 50-100 cm. The natural range is Southeast Asia. Flowers with a diameter of 15-20 cm are collected in large inflorescences, the total size of which can reach 130 cm.


The aloe orchid came to us from India. It is an epiphyte with pseudobulbs that accumulate and store moisture. The length of the stem reaches 30 cm, the peduncle is 40 cm. The flowers are medium-sized, 4-5 cm each. Many buds are formed on one peduncle. The color of the petals is yellow, there are purple stripes in the center. The plant gets its name from the belt-like leaves 30 cm long, fleshy and rich green. They resemble aloe.


This species grows from April to October. The buds are small, reaching 5 cm after opening. They are surrounded by light green petals, in the center of which there is a narrow red stripe. The lip is light, almost white, covered with dark red specks. On the lateral blades of the plant, there are stripes of a red-brown hue.


Grow in Japan and China, Australia, New Zealand. The genus includes about 1200 species. They differ greatly in structure, flowering and feeding method. This includes both epiphytes that feed on trees and lithophytes – varieties that attach to stones. The average duration of orchid flowering is 2-3 months.


The name translates as “Noble Orchid”. In natural conditions, it is distributed in the Himalayas, Indonesia, and the southern part of China. The maximum stem height is 90 cm, the flowers reach 5 to 8 cm in diameter. There are pseudobulbs of a yellow-green hue. Nobile can grow both in rock crevices and in trees.

Interesting! In flower shops, mainly Nobile hybrids are sold, the genetic component of the natural ancestor in which ranges from 50% to 75%.

The shade of the petals ranges from white to deep purple.


The flowers are medium-sized, 4-6 cm, colored pink. The fringed lip is darker in the center. During the breeding season, it forms a short peduncle, on which 1-3 buds appear. Natural habitat – areas at an altitude of 250 to 1700 meters above sea level in India, Vietnam and China. Grown at home, but the owner must observe a temperature difference of 4-8 degrees between day and night.


Epiphyte with a height of 60 to 120 cm. In rare cases, it grows up to 180 cm. Pseudobulbs are erect, fleshy, up to 120 cm, but when inflorescences form, they begin to hang down. The peduncle is 18-20 cm high, gives rise to 6-15 flowers with a diameter of about 4 cm. The color of the petals is yellow, the flowering period is from 7 to 10 days. The smell of the buds is sour. Fringed dendrobium is capable of blooming all year round, but it peaks between March and May.

types of Paphiopedilums hybrids orchids

Paphiopedilums bloom for 2-3 months every year. Outwardly, they differ in a lip that resembles a toy shoe. Because of this, an alternative name stuck – the Venus slipper. Natural habitat – India, China, Malaysia. In indoor conditions, hybrids are grown, adapted to drier air, and also distinguished by lush flowering.

types of paphiopedilums hybrids orchids


Singolo is the first single petal color orchid developed by breeders. The color of the inflorescences ranges from purple to yellow, peach, white and blue. Mostly white variations are on sale. Several buds can form on one peduncle.

Important! Experienced growers leave only one flower on the shoot so that the bud opens up as much as possible.

The plant is low, reaching no more than 30 cm in height, while the flowers are very large – from 13 to 15 cm.

black Jack

The result of long-term work of breeders. The plant is commercially referred to as black, although it actually ranges from maroon to deep purple in color. There is a yellow or white border around the edges of the lip. The diameter of the flower is no more than 6 cm, and the variety itself grows up to 70 cm. There are no analogues in nature.

Check out Black Orchids Varieties.

Lady’s slipper

The lady’s slipper is not just one species, but a whole category of orchids. All of them are distinguished by small inflorescences with a structure resembling pansies. The distribution area is the whole of Eurasia. The first and most common hybrid is the Maudi. The leaves of this variety are collected in rosettes with a mesh pattern. The petals are white, covered with stripes, the opened buds are 10 cm in diameter. Recently, breeders have been developing varieties of Maudi with a wine-red color.

types of Miltonia and miltoniopsis orchids

Miltonia is a family founded in 1837. With the study of orchid species, most varieties of Miltonia were brought into a separate genus miltoniopsis. They are very similar in many ways, which is why flower shop sellers still often confuse families. Features of both genera – flowers 5-10 cm on a thin and long peduncle, inflorescences similar to violet, narrow leaves. The buds last for 1.5 months.

Attention! Hybrid orchids, bred on the basis of miltoniopsis (there are more than 1000 species), can bloom at any time of the year.

types of miltonia and miltoniopsis orchids 1

Snow white

A hybrid called Mr. Alexander was developed in Germany. It affects large snow-white inflorescences. One plant can form up to ten flowers at the same time. The upper petals at the base are colored purple. A spot of this color goes in a triangle. There is also a bright yellow spot at the base of the lip.


The species Miltonia kayasimae is common in Brazil, where it grows at an altitude of about 900 meters above sea level. During the flowering period, it creates 5-6 flowers with a diameter of up to 5 cm. The color of the petals is chocolate, the tips are painted cream, and the lip has a purple hue with a white border. A very showy plant, discovered in 1976, it is rarely found in florist shops.


Under natural conditions, the orchid forms flower stalks from the beginning of winter to May, but when kept indoors it blooms less: from the beginning of August to October. Up to 5 flowers are formed on one shoot, more often – 4. The petals are white, the lip can be light pink or purple. At the base of the lip there is a yellow spot with dark blotches.

types of Oncidiums orchids

Representatives of this family, when blooming, are colored brown, yellow, red. The size of the inflorescences varies from 2 to 12 cm and the stem length is between 10 cm and 5 meters. Florists appreciate oncidiums for their pleasant aroma and long-term preservation of flowers (up to 3 weeks).

Sweet sugar

A hybrid created by crossing Oncidium Aloha Iwanaga and Oncidium varicosum. This variety is considered the most suitable for growing at home, therefore it is actively bought by flower growers. When flowering, bright yellow buds appear, small, but in large numbers on one peduncle. Diameter – 3 cm.The average height of an adult plant is 38 cm.


The Russian-language variation of the name is beautiful oncidium. Forms inflorescences with a large yellow lip protruding forward. The petals are light green with large brown spots, almost completely overlapping the main color. The size ranges from 30 to 150 cm. The leaves are covered with purple dots as they grow. One peduncle can have up to 20 buds. After each flowering, more and more flowers appear on the orchid, the total number can reach 70.


It got its name from its predator-like color. Inflorescences are red-brown, with large petals. The lip is yellow and stands out in comparison with the petals. It blooms only one month a year – in autumn or winter, depending on the conditions of detention.

You may also like Types of Outdoor Orchids.

types of Spotted orchids

Spotted orchids are not a genus of plants defined in botanical references, but simply a catalog of flowers with spotted inflorescences. It can be orchids with small or large spots of red, brown, dark brown.


Large, from 40 cm in height, the plant grows at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level in New Guinea and the Philippines. The flower has highly branched pseudobulbs. A lot of buds are formed on the peduncles. Petals are yellowish-green, densely covered with brown spots. Grammatophyllum is widespread in indoor plant growing and is popular with Russian flower growers.

Peculiarity! The only problem with growing is the temperature regime, which should be 15-22 degrees at night and 24-32 degrees during the day, that is, it requires ensuring fluctuations.


The name comes from the Greek word for “tooth”. At the base of the lip, this orchid has growths that resemble teeth. Odontoglossum – lithophyte, prefers stones as a basis for growth. The average height is 20 cm, but with good care it can increase up to 90 cm.

The color is variegated – the lip is purple, and the bottom is white, the rest of the petals are red, with spots of a yellow tint. Odontoglossum is not found in stores in its pure form, only as hybrids.


Zygopetalum is loved for its spectacular appearance of flowers. The lip is purple, with a white border and the same spots. The petals are light green, covered with maroon, almost black spots. They can merge, occupying almost the entire plate, leaving only a border under the shade of light green. There are varieties with a yellow base color and red specks. Due to the unpretentiousness of the variety, it is grown in room conditions.

Check out guide on Fragrant Orchid Varieties.

How many types are used as indoor plant?

Orchid species in nature, according to various sources, are from 20 to 35 thousand. Of these, 419 species grow on the territory of Russia. All of them are suitable for indoor growing.

Representatives of the following genera are grown as an ornamental plants throughout the world:

  • cattleya – 187 species;
  • phalaenopsis – about 70 species;
  • dendrobium – 1000-1200 species.

It turns out that over 2,700 species can be considered indoor in different parts of the world, and 419 varieties of flowers that grow in the climatic conditions of Russia are suitable for keeping in a house.

Can orchids go in regular pots?

Almost all types of orchids can be planted in containers. However, epiphytic varieties are recommended to be planted on a block, that is, grown in a substrate-free way.

Plants that are best planted on a block include:

  • cattleya;
  • sofrontis;
  • oncidiums;
  • erangis.

A soilless planting method involves using the bark of cork oak, vine, or another tree as a root base. The orchid will cling to the material, and receive the main nutrients from the air due to high humidity. Such conditions are easy to create in greenhouses, arboretums, but in an ordinary apartment, it is difficult to provide.

What is the rarest color of orchid?

Orchids of a deep blue hue are now in vogue. Plants with blue flowers were bred in 2009 in Holland, the line of varieties was named Royal Blue. The cost of such flowers is 2-3 times higher than that of ordinary orchids. But they have a significant drawback: the blue color of the petals disappears soon after purchase.

Important! Without special feeding, Royal Blue inflorescences fade to light blue or white.

Not found in nature and black orchids. Dark buds are available at flower shops, but this is a commercial gimmick: the petals achieve this color through the use of pigments, and the original shade is maroon. Botanists report that in nature, orchids simply do not have black pigment, this is at the genetic level.

What is the smallest orchid flower?

The smallest orchids found in nature belong to the genus Platystele. They were found in a nature reserve in Bolivia. A group of researchers studied another, larger species of orchid, and a representative of the genus Platystele was found in its roots.

The main parameters of the smallest flower:

  • epiphyte;
  • the thickness of the petals is only 1 cell;
  • inflorescences are transparent, without pigment;
  • flower diameter – 2 mm;
  • the buds bloom straight from the stem.

There are other microscopic orchids. Dinema polybulbon grows in Guatemala, Mexico, Cuba, has inflorescences 15 mm in diameter. The buds are colored coffee yellow and covered with purple spots. And the Bulbophyllum fascinator plant, originally from Malaysia, reaches a height of only 2-3 cm.

Facing the problem Why Are The Flowers Falling Off My Orchid?

What is the biggest orchid?

The largest orchid known to science is Grammatophyllum speciosum. It is also called tiger or sugarcane. Natural habitat – Indonesia and Malaysia. The plant has large yellow-brown inflorescences, which can reach 15 cm in diameter. The length of one peduncle reaches 3 meters; up to 100 buds can simultaneously hold on such a stem.

The record-holder among Grammatophyllum speciosum is the representative of the Bogor Botanical Garden in Indonesia. A flower grows in it on a huge ficus, the total weight of which is about 2 tons. The system of ficus and epiphyte does not collapse only due to special supports.

Interesting! You can try growing the tiger orchid at home. The main thing is to prepare a suitable pot and stones for counterweight: the branches will grow rapidly and can overturn the container.

Do every orchids have leaves?

Among orchids, there are varieties that have only one leaf. Growing up, the leaf turns into a stem or tightly wraps around it, as a result of which it visually disappears.

These varieties include types:

  • Dragon’s mouth, or Aretruza tuberous. A plant with a height of 20-40 cm, from the tuber of which one leaf grows and forms a stem. Only one purple flower appears on it. A very rare species, found mainly in swamps;
  • Thelymitra jonesii, or sun orchid. As it grows, a single leaf covers the stem, which acts as a peduncle, in its lower part. Another rare species. Inflorescences are pale blue, with blue blotches.

The number of orchid species continues to grow. Research expeditions exploring Malaysia, the Philippines, the Amazonian forests and other typical orchid habitats regularly make new discoveries. At the same time, breeders are developing lush indoor varieties of unusual colors.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on admin@houseplantspro.com and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴