Purple Orchid

Purple orchid

Orchids are flowery plants typically native to the tropics, however they’re quite easy to grow in your own garden, as they’re surprisingly durable. With the proper care, nurturing and love, these flowers can grow to live for years and years. These exquisite flowers come in a variety of colors, including purple.

Purple orchid description

Purple orchid

The purple orchid originates from Greece and is a species of orchid in the genus Orchis. “Orchid” comes from the Greek “orchis”, which oddly enough means testicle and represents virility. Maybe in ancient times it was a symbol of manhood, but in our days, women not only adore them, but are also the primary recipients. Double check that with the multibillion dollar flower industry, if you don’t believe me.

The Purple Orchid or the Orchis mascula can grow up to 60 centimeters (24 inches) in height, is green at the base and varying purple on the apex. Its root is made out of two tubers, rounder or ellipsoid. Like most orchids, its leaves are grouped at the base of the stem and are oblong-lanceolate in shape and green in color, although sometimes brownish-purple specks can be observed on the leaves.

The actual inflorescence is between 7 and 12 centimeters long (3 to 4.9 inches) and is comprised of a natural bouquet of 6 to 20 flowers, beautifully lined up in a dense cylinder of spkes. The flower itself is about 2.5 centimeters (0.98 inches) in length and is colored either in pink or violet.

Typically the Purple Orchid blooms April to June.

Purple orchid types

Purple orchid

There are two main purple orchid species. There’s the terrestrial purple orchid that grows on the ground like most commonly sensed plants and flowers. And then there’s the epiphytes purple orchid that grows on trees.

Concerning their color, purple is rather an understatement. Purple orchids come in a myriad of shades and tones, from bright purple to all kinds of lavender shades, depending on the particular species.

Purple orchid species

Purple orchid

  • Orchis mascula subsp. hispanica (A.Niesch. & C.Niesch.) Soó (1972) (Southern Pyrenees, Spain, Portugal, Morocco)
  • Orchis mascula subsp. longibracteatoides Balayer (1986) (Eastern Pyrenees)
  • Orchis mascula subsp. longicalcarata Akhalkatski, H. Baumann, R. Lorenz, Mosulishvili &R. Peter (2005) (Eastern and central Caucasus)
  • Orchis mascula subsp. maghrebiana B. Baumann & H. Baumann (2005)(Morocco)
  • Orchis mascula subsp. mascula (N. & C. Europe to Iran, Canary Islands)
  • Orchis mascula subsp. pinetorum (Boiss. & Kotschy) E.G.Camus (1908) (Macedonia to Iran)
  • Orchis mascula subsp. speciosa (Mutel) Hegi (1909) (Europe)
  • Orchis mascula subsp. wanjkovii (E.Wulff) Soó in G.Keller & al. (1932) (Crimea)

The early purple orchid

Early purple orchid

Orchids are quite widespread, one of the most common types is the early purple orchid, often found in habitats with non-acidic soils such as hedgerows, banks, ancient woodland and open grassland.

Early Purple Orchids display up to 50 dark purple flowers arranged in a dense, cone-shaped cluster on a tall spike. The lower lip of each flower has three lobes and the upper petals form a hood. The leaves of the Early Purple Orchid are glossy and dark green with dark spots, and form a rosette on the ground; they appear from January onwards.

How to care for a purple orchid

Like stated earlier, the orchid typically grows in the tropics, but that doesn’t mean it can’t grow anywhere. If you’re keen on growing your own purple orchids, know that it’s fairly simple, and any amateur gardener can end up with some terrific batches. All you need to do is to treat them with much care, offer them nourishment and of course plenty of love.

  • Be sure to place the purple orchid in indirect sunlight  maybe behind the window curtains since too much ultraviolet rays can burn the plant. Here are some hints to know if you’re purple orchid is getting enough light: look at its leaves. If they’re dark green that the plant isn’t getting enough sun light. If they’re red or yellowish-green than they’re getting too much light. You’ve found the perfect balance if your leaves are a bright green.
  • Like for all plant cultures, ambient temperature is very important. While orchids can deal with temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 90 degrees, it won’t hold out for long in these conditions. Ideally, the room in which you grow your purple orchids should be between 60 and 62 degrees at night and between 70 and 80 during the day. Avoid constant temperature through out the day since the orchid needs to enter its natural cycle, which entails a slight temperature fluctuation during the day.
  • Air circulation is also particularly important. Be sure to have fresh air in contact with your orchid. You can easily achieve this by placing it near and open window during summer time or by simply employing an oscillating fan during winter. The fresh air replenishes the plant with much needed carbon dioxide.
  • On to watering, which maybe interests you most of all. During the winter, water the purple orchid only once weekly, and twice weekly during the summer (higher temperatures). If possible avoid tap water, since it has chlorine and might harm the plant.
  • If you want to pump up the process a bit, you can use a fertilizer that has a balanced mix of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

Purple orchid bouquets and arrangements

Purple orchid wedding arrangement

The purple orchid is both exquisite and fairly inexpensive, making it an ideal component for lush arrangements or bouquets. Purple orchid arrangements have become quite popular with weddings, since people seem to appreciate their sweet and exotic color. If you really want to hold a wedding in style, go for lavender orchids for corsages or boutonniere. You’ll definitely attract some eyes with this elegant piece.

Still sticking to arrangements, remember to use a proper coloring scheme when arranging your purple orchids. Use light colors in deep purple orchid arrangements and cream, beige and perhaps pink and lime yellow in lavender orchids arrangements.

If you want to arrange the perfect purple orchid bridal bouquets go for the lavender orchids. There’s no better way to spell the firm elegance of femininity than this extraordinary amalgam of orange tulips, with yellow, deep pink spray roses and green dendrobium orchids.