For thousands of years, orchids have been regarded as exceptional flowers. Before their name was officially chosen, Phalaenopsis Orchids were dubbed “moth orchids” by Swedish Naturalist Peter Osbeck after he thought he spied a cluster of moths. In reality, he was looking at this wondrous bloom from his window. Today, Dendrobium Orchids have become so remarkable that admired leaders and respected celebrities, including Joe and Jill Biden, Margaret Thatcher, and Jane Goodall have various types named after them.
For about 26 to 110 million years, numerous cultures all around the world have had an influence on the significance of the orchids. From the Ancient Greeks and Aztecs to wealthy Victorian families, these blooms have established a diverse history of usage and symbolism. These days, orchids have flourished as a symbol of fertility, beauty, refinement, strength, thoughtfulness, charm, and love. As flower experts, your friends here at Rosebud Flowers, Mobile’s top flower shop are thrilled to be sharing this rich, unique history and the meaning behind orchids.
Cultural Views of the Orchid
The ancient Greeks had a strong link between orchid flowers and fertility and even believed in predicting genders based on an orchid’s tuberous roots. Small orchid roots symbolized a female child while large orchid roots symbolized a male child. In modern days, fertility is still connected to orchids, most notably pink orchid flowers. They’re perfect for celebrating newborns, mothers-to-be, and growing families in general.
To the ancient Aztecs, orchids meant strength and power. They believed in the “magic” of orchids so much that they combined these vanilla flowers with chocolate to create an elixir to promote strength and power within those who took it. So, did becoming one of the most powerful empires in Mesoamerica have anything to do with this beautiful bloom?
As orchids became a treasured possession by royal and wealthy families in the Victorian era, they simultaneously became a symbol of luxury and refined taste. In 1862, Charles Darwin released his work on the fertilization of orchids, which some say, caused an “Orchidelirium.” The royal and wealthy became obsessed with this particular bloom as it was harvested and brought back to England. As orchids are still a symbol of refinement, purple orchids also symbolize royalty, dignity, admiration, and authority.
From kidney ailments and lung disease, to stomach deficiencies and eye disease, ancient Chinese medicine practices included orchids to treat these illnesses. Often, practitioners would select the dendrobium orchid, commonly known as “Bamboo Orchids” since they resemble bamboo plants. Today, green orchids are great symbols for good health, and consequently, a perfect choice for loved ones who may be feeling ill.
From fertility to power and even luxury, orchid meanings and symbols translate from culture to culture. In Japan, these meanings and symbols still hold true, however have been derived from a slightly different history. Because orchids thrive in a range of habitats from the mountains to the plains, Japanese culture has associated this bloom with strength, power, and rich luxurious lives. These symbols should sound awfully familiar! You may also find orchids in many homes and offices in Japan since their connection to fertility is also seen as good fortune in life and business.
In modern times, orchids are commonly used as wonderful fragrances in candles, perfumes, and beauty products. They also prove to be a perfect choice for celebrating a multitude of life’s moments and special occasions. From Dendrobium and Cymbidium to Phalaenopsis orchids, their connection to fertility, love, refinement, charm, beauty, and thoughtfulness remains. Find the loveliest orchids and freshest blooms here at Rose Bud Flowers.