"Coming from God" - this is how they interpret the name of a surprisingly exquisite and mysterious plant - orchids. 2500 years ago, Confucius called orchids the favorite flowers of the Chinese and wrote a treatise on their cultivation, suggesting the use of orchids for meditation and inspiration. This amazing plant grows all over the world except for the Far North and deserts. It has a very long flowering period, reaching several months. And the uniqueness of colors lies in the uniqueness and a huge variety of shapes, colors and aromas.
Returning from distant wanderings, the first travelers told about flowers of fantastic beauty with indescribable aromas - orchids. But they considered this plant a parasite, not suitable for cultivation. The first tropical vanilla orchid (Vanilla platifolia) was brought to Europe in 1510 by the Spanish conquistadors. The spice obtained from its unripe fruits has become the most expensive after saffron. In 1641, the mention of a decorative orchid - the North American lady's shoe - is dated, which is described in the list of plants of the Botanical Garden of Holland. In 1733, the tropical beauty Bletia verrycunda (an earthy orchid with bright red flowers) appeared in England, where it took root and bloomed. And in 1793, Captain Bligh brought fifteen orchids from the expedition. At the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, the real "gold rush of orchids" began. In Europe, flowers are in great fashion. They studied, collected, tried to select. Hundreds of orchid hunters have traveled to Central America in search of outlandish flowers. Most of them were adventurers, concerned only with profit. Found rare species of flowers were barbarously destroyed. A case is described when on the island of Santa Catarina in Brazil, two Englishmen, having discovered a plot with orchids, picked up flowers, and the rest were cut down and thrown into the sea. Orchids grow in Russia as well. The most famous are: lady's slipper, bulbous calypso, two-leaved splint. Currently, botanists have more than 20 thousand species of orchids. But the great variety does not save these amazing flowers from the looming threat of extinction. For more than four hundred years, people have tried to cultivate orchids, while willingly or unwillingly destroying their natural populations. Many species have already disappeared without a trace, others are on the verge of extinction. Our northern orchids, which are listed in the Red Book, have also become a rarity.