The source of Vanilla, Orchids are one of the most popular wedding flowers. Throughout the world, more than 17,000 Orchid species are known, and varieties vary in size and shape.
- Oncidium blossoms are 1 1/2 to 1 inch and are usually yellow with orange-red markings.
- Cymbidium and dendrobium flowers have a butterfly-like shape and are 3 to 4 inches acress. The larger of the two, cymbidiums are white, yellow, green or lavender with pink or red lips, while dendrobiums are often white or lavender.
- Cattleya blossoms are large, ruffled and usually 5 to 6 inches across in white or purple with contrasting throats.
- Phalaenopsis have moth- or butterfly-shaped flowers in colors such as white, pink, purple and bicolors.
Orchids represent love, luxury, beauty and strength. In ancient Greece, orchids were associated with virility. In fact, Greek women believed that if the father of their unborn child ate large, new orchid tubers, the baby would be a boy. If the mother ate small orchid tubers, she would give birth to a girl.
During the Victorian era, orchid symbolism shifted to luxury, and today this sense of magnificence and artful splendor continues, with orchids representing rare and delicate beauty. The 14th wedding anniversary flower, pink orchids convey pure affection, and the popular cattelya orchid represents mature charm.