January 9, 2010
I’m not an orchid fanatic or anything, but I did write an essay on orchids for a science class in high school. The assignment was to feature any organism on a regional, national, and global scale and take an important account of their environment. Here’s a an excerpt from the essay.
Orchids (Orchidaceae) are perennial plants cherished for their beautiful and sometimes fragrant three-petal flowers. They are commonly associated with originating from the tropics of Central and South America, Africa, Madagascar, Asia, New Guinea, and Australia, but are native to temperate zones in North America and Europe. For hundreds of years explorers and horticulturists have journeyed all over the world to discover orchids, mesmerized by their intricate beauty, gathering them from mysterious jungles, striving to recreate their natural habitats and use hybridization in order to grow these wondrous organisms. Because many orchids, such as the Cypripedium acaule of New England, the Encyclia tampensa of Florida, and the Vanilla planifolia of Mexico are native to such diverse regions of the world, they must adapt to their environment as well as their pollinators in distinct ways.
Orchids are monocots, flowering plants that have a single leaf (cotyledon) in the seed and floral parts in compounds of three. Monocots are generally herbaceous as opposed to trees, which do not lack wood. There is one germinating pore for their pollen grains. Other examples of monocots are all grasses, rice, wheat, and corn, lilies, and the vascular, palm trees.
Not too shabby for a kid.