The Orchidaceae familyis one of the most numerous families in the world, with its described 800 genera and25,000 species, growing primarily in the tropical regions. In Bulgaria are found only herbaceous perennial plants, while in thetropical regions there grow epiphytes and lianas. The flowersare irregular, bisexual. The perianth consists of six leavesarranged in two circles of 3 petals each. Those in the outer circle are of the same corolla-shaped form,while in the inner circle – the upper petal is modified in a labia. The labia have a varied form,and with some species they form a spore containing the nectar.In most species there is only one stamen, usually the pollen beans are agglutinated in groups – pollenii, attached to a stalk ending in a gummy nectar disc. This structure is called polinaria. Through the gummy disc, the polinaria stick to the insects visiting the flowers, and they then by visiting other flowers perform pollination.
The seedsare numerous – up to hundreds of thousands, yet each one has a limited quantity of nutrients. In order the seedsto develop, it is necessary the soil to contain a fungus specific for the different orchid species. It is only with the help of the fungus and through a complex process with its hyphae, that the seedsof the orchids germinate. This intricate mechanism of germination is one of the reasons for the scarce distribution of many of the orchid species.Many of the members of the familyare beautiful plantsgrown artificially for ornamental purposes.