Difference between orchid and phalaenopsis

Orchids are among the most popular plants for flower growers. One of the most common of its types is phalaenopsis. What is the specificity of these colors?

What is an orchid?

By " orchid" it is customary to mean, in principle, any flower belonging to the orchid family, which is one of the most ancient plants in terms of evolution. Within the orchid family, scientists distinguish 5 plant subfamilies, 22 tribes, and 70 subtribes. The peculiarity of the orchid family is the huge variety of flower species. There are about 75 thousand of them in total.


Orchids are found on all continents of the Earth, except Antarctica. But they mostly grow in the tropics. The most favorable conditions for the development of orchids are formed in humid climatic zones. But there are plants belonging to the corresponding family, which are also found in temperate latitudes.

As we noted above, orchids are represented by several tens of thousands of species, often very different from each other. Therefore, it is difficult to determine a common characteristic for them that would distinguish orchids from other flowers. But from a biological point of view, orchids have a number of features.

First of all, plants belonging to this family have fused filaments of stamens, which is not typical for most other flowers. In addition, orchid pollen, as a rule, does not spread through the air, and their pollination, therefore, necessarily requires the participation of insects.

From among the huge variety of orchid species, many growers choose phalaenopsis as an object for breeding. Let's study its features.

What is Phalaenopsis?

Phalaenopsis is a genus of plants belonging to the orchid family. The main habitat of these flowers is Southeast Asia, Australia. Natural Phalaenopsis loves moist forests - both in the plains and in the mountains.


In total, about 40 types of flowers belong to phalaenopsis. They are characterized by a fairly short stem and wide leaves. Phalaenopsis grows almost always upwards. An adult flower has about 4-6 leaves. A characteristic feature of phalaenopsis is the presence of aerial roots. The leaves of flowers of the corresponding type do not change color throughout the year. Their length reaches 30 cm.

Peduncles of phalaenopsis are long, in many cases they have branches. The phalaenopsis flower is shaped like a butterfly.

The plants in question are especially prized for their strong yet pleasant scent. Its intensity and shades can vary markedly depending on the specific type of phalaenopsis.


The main difference between the orchid and the phalaenopsis is that the first name corresponds to a family of flowers, the second - to a separate genus, which at the same time belongs to this family. Orchids are represented by more than 75 thousand types of flowers. The genus Phalaenopsis includes about 40 species.

Orchids as a family are found on all continents of the Earth, except Antarctica. Phalaenopsis naturally grows mainly in Southeast Asia and Australia.

At the same time, phalaenopsis are characterized by all those features that characterize orchids from the point of view of biology. In particular, the presence of accrete stamens, as well as the inability of pollen to spread through the air.

Having determined what the difference between an orchid and a phalaenopsis is in principle, we reflect the conclusions in the table.


Orchid Phalaenopsis
What do they have in common?
Phalaenopsis is a genus of flowers belonging to the orchid family
Phalaenopsis, like other orchids, has fused stamens, as well as pollen not adapted to travel through the air
What is the difference between them?
Orchid is a family of plants, includes more than 75 thousand speciesPhalaenopsis is a genus of plants of the orchid family, includes about 40 thousand species
Occurs on all continents of the Earth, except AntarcticaOccurs mainly in Southeast Asia and Australia