The orchid genus is old, widespread and diverse. They grow naturally all over the world and are a favorite plant among horticulturists.
A new exhibition here, at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, displays of the most popular and interesting species of orchids from Latin America.
Orchids aren't only prolific, they're unique, Tom Mirenda, an orchid expert and curator of the exhibition told OurAmazingPlanet when we visited. The exhibition is on view until April 26.
Here are five interesting facts you may not have known about one of the most popular flowers in the world:
1. There are more than 25,000 documented species of orchid, and scientists are finding more every day.
The family Orchidacea is home to more than 25,000 flower species, Mirenda said. Scientists suspect that there are more species in the topical areas of the world, and horticulturalists hybridize the flower to create new species that wouldn't occur in nature, and giving rise to some of the most popular varieties of the plant in existence. (Photos: Orchids of Latin America)