With over 25000 species and almost 100000 varieties, orchids are one of the coveted blooms in plant kingdom. A universal symbol of love, beauty and luxury, orchids can be found in almost every corner of the world and are held in high regard in different cultures for centuries. Want to know all about orchids? Let’s get started. Meaning: Since primitive times, the orchid has been thought to represent love, beauty, charm, luxury, thoughtfulness, fertility and abundance. They earned their name from the Greek word “orchis” which translates as testicle owing to the resemblance of their fleshy tubers to testicles, according to the Greek botanist,Theophrastos. Ancient Mythology and Orchids: In Greek culture, orchids have always been associated with virility. Back in primitive times, the consumption of large orchid tubers would promise the birth of a male child and consumption of small orchid tubers would give birth to a baby girl. In Aztec culture, vanilla orchids were said to have been mixed with chocolate to create an elixir that would promise an increase in strength and power. Coming to the Victorian era, whilst they never employed orchids to create elixirs or to consume them but instead they collected rare orchid species for display purposes. This was a sign of luxury, magnificence and splendor to show off their refined taste. Flower Facts: Orchids come in a range of shapes and sizes often found in the undergrowth of many tropical forests. Some orchids grow to only a few inches tall however, some like the vanilla orchid bloom on gigantic vines. A native to Mesoamerica, historical Totonaco legend claims that the vanilla orchid bloomed from the blood of Princess Xanat after she and her lover were decapitated for going against the wishes of her father. Europe was a stranger to this delicate and rare flower until the 1600’s when the Far East was visited by foreigners. The Chinese have been said to have cultivated orchids for almost 3 millennia. Orchid Color Meanings: Whilst all orchids are the symbol of love and beauty, they come in different hues, each said to represent a different trait. 1) Blue: Rarity. 2) Red: Desire and passion but can also be used to represent courage, valor, and strength. 3) Pink: Grace and happiness but also represent femininity and innocence. 4) Purple: Respect, royalty and dignity. 5) White: Purity, elegance, humility, beauty, and admiration. 6) Orange: Pride, boldness and fervor. 7) Yellow: New beginnings, friendship and happiness. 8) Green: Good health, fortune, blessings, longevity and nature. Use in Botanicals: In Chinese medicine, orchids are known to be a cure for lung and eye diseases as well as stomach and kidney deficiencies. They are used in perfumes to curate exotic fragrances as well as their essence incorporated in many beauty products. Many drinks and confections use dried vanilla orchid powder as a flavoring agent particularly popular in cakes, ice cream and drinks. A truly unique flower, this rare bloom is one that will add a feminine, graceful and elegant touch to your bridal bouquet and overall ensemble. Add flair to your big day bouquet by using your favorite orchids.