International Festival of Orchids :
Organized by the Association of orchid and Épiphytophiles France, orchids set for a fortnight
their winter gardens at the Palais de l'Europe
Chin, along with creative craftsmen of Menton.
Orchids belong to the family Orchidaceae, the richest family of the plant world as it has between 20 and 30 000 species.
There are plants everywhere except above the Arctic Circle and in the great deserts.
In temperate countries, orchids spend the winter underground, in the form of bulbs like tulips.
In tropical countries, they are either terrestrial or epiphytic. They then grow into the foam around the trees, without parasitizing.
They feed on the rainwater that flows over the leaves of trees and enriched with nutrients brought by the bird droppings.
In France there are 170 species including a hundred in the Alpes Maritimes (06). They are protected. The exotic species are marketed and even if
passion for these plants, which were purchased at prices of gold per century collectors in their discovery, some decrease, the craze
cause it is still very much present.
Freed from their legends related to their conservation and their cultures, they are now deemed to be easier to maintain than most
green plants of the apartments, provided, of course, to know their needs is still very modest.
Their price is affordable and, for example, a Phalaenopsis (moth orchid) whose bloom lasts 3 months does not cost much more than a bouquet of roses,
very pretty, but that is still barely a week .
But it is flowers that make these plants as fascinating. Their architectures, their rich colors and numerous, their delicacies,
their fragrances are incomparable.
They are pollinated by insects with which they have developed, over time, relations which are still a surprising source
of wonder for connoisseurs. This character set is one of the most advanced plants in the plant kingdom.
Orchids are plants that readily hybridize and professionals widely exploited this property to produce plants with characteristics
improvement and maintenance easier than natural species. Many orchids offered for sale are hybrids and new
Breeders regularly enrich the market.
The orchid is also used in food. Vanilla is the variety most widely known and used. It is grown in Madagascar
and Reunion. Less known, an ice cream (the salep) is manufactured, and highly appreciated in Turkey, from bulbs of a wild orchid.
Unfortunately, like many plants, orchids are threatened in their natural environment. Despite the various movements and certain measures taken
orchids to save the problem persists and grows with the disappearance of forests that harbor them.