About orchids in equatorial forests

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The equatorial zone covers a wide strip of several continents. This includes Southeast Asia, Africa and South America. The vegetation of the regions is striking in its diversity. Orchids occupy a special place in equatorial forests. There are about 700 of them. A humid and hot climate promotes good plant growth.

About orchids in equatorial forests

About orchids in equatorial forests

Features of wet forests

Equatorial air masses are constantly over this area, to which the lush greenery owes.

The environment has the following characteristics:

  1. Year-round temperature 20-30˚С and above. The annual amplitude of indicators is insignificant - 2-8˚С, daily - 3-10˚С.
  2. During the colder months considered to be winter, heavy rains fall. In the rest, the amount of precipitation decreases, but there is enough moisture for vegetation. There is practically no change of seasons here. Distinguish between dry and rainy periods.
  3. Humidity is at least 55-65% during the day and maximum 100% at night. Indicators change at different heights.

Greenery in equatorial forests grows in several layers. There is practically no light coming to the ground. Orchids are found here only on the trunks or branches of trees, that is, they are epiphytic. The most suitable conditions for their growth are created in the middle of the forest canopy, where diffused light enters well. The air here is humid and circulates. Plant debris, insect bodies and other organic matter fall on tree trunks. Over time, they turn into humus, which provides nutrients for the epiphytes.

Roots develop in the air. Because of this feature, the Indians called the flowers "daughters of the air." Upon contact with the soil, the root system rots and dies. All types of these plants have not been studied until now, because the thickets of many localities are practically untouched by humans.

Features of orchids in equatorial forests

The color of the petals is varied and presented in many shades:

  • from pale white to pink;
  • from lemon yellow to reddish brown.

They are also spotted and striped. They also differ in the shape of the petals - there are specimens similar to butterflies, birds, mushrooms, etc. The roots are white or silvery. On top they have a spongy layer that absorbs water. Leaves are dense, leathery. They have a protective function for soft tissues. Pseudobulbs store moisture reserves. Orchids also differ in size - from the smallest to gigantic. Some flowers are 15-25 cm in diameter. This is not uncommon for equatorial forests.

Orchids grow on trees with rough bark

Orchids grow on trees with rough bark

Orchids in this area live on trees with thick, rough bark. Many species grow in clusters. Pollination takes place with the help of insects. For some of them, especially ants, flowers serve as dwellings. This interaction does not interfere with the normal development of plants.

Varieties of orchids of the equatorial forests

Many varieties of these flowers are found in the basins of the Amazon, Orinoco, Congo, Niger, Zambezi rivers.

They also grow in Madagascar, India, the Malay Archipelago, New Guinea and some islands in the Pacific Ocean.

From different specimens of orchids of the equatorial forests, the following are distinguished:

  1. Grammatophyllum is a large and tall plant. It grows up to 55-60 cm. The flowers are light yellow with brown blotches. Peduncles are branched, pseudobulbs are large.
  2. Bulbophyllum - blooms in two rows with small buds. The leaves are elliptical, the flowers are stellate, the aroma is specific.
  3. Poliriza is a rare species. According to the description, it is characterized by the absence of leaves. It receives nutrients from the fungi attached to its roots. Flowers are white-green, apple aroma.
  4. Fragmipedium - has flowers that look like a slipper. Their colors are pink, white, beige and olive. Pointed leaves, collected in a basket.
  5. Phalaenopsis is the most famous home-grown orchid species. The rosette is rooted. Flowers resemble butterflies. The colors are varied.
  6. Oncidiums are one of the most exquisite plants. It has small, linear leaves. The flowers resemble figures of dancing women. Blooms profusely. Pseudo-destinies are well developed.


The equatorial zone is the most livable. The orchids growing in it are of great interest to scientists and flower growers. Many make huge profits from their implementation. Entire collections of unique colors are created.

Recently, the number of known species of these plants has decreased. The reason for this is the intensive felling of trees, which entails a reduction in the areas where orchids grow.

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