The word Orchis is used in a special sense to denote a particular genus of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae); very frequently, also, it is employed in a more general way to indicate any member of that large and very interesting group. It will be convenient here to use the word Orchis as applying to that particular genus which gives its name to the order or family, and to employ the term "orchid" in the less precise sense.
- Flower of Orchis.
- Diagram illustrating arrangement of parts in flower of Orchis.
In the common orchids of British meadows, Orchis Mori-o, mascula (Shakespeare's long purples), &c., the general structure of the flower is as we have described it (figs.
Such being in general terms the mechanism of the flower of a common orchis, let us now see how it acts.
This fact will account for the profusion with which some orchids, like the common bee orchis for instance, are found in some seasons and their scarcity in others.
I 4 5 6 2 L 3 2 L 3 Arrangement of stamens Arrangement of stamens in Orchis.
The order is well represented in Britain by 18 genera, which include several species of Orchis: Gymnadenia (fragrant orchis), Habenaria (butterfly and frog orchis), Aceras (man orchis), Hermin- ium (musk orchis), Ophrys (bee, spider and fly orchis), Epipactis (Helleborine), Cephalanthera, Neottia (bird's-nest orchis), one of the few saprophytic genera, which have no green leaves, but derive their nourishment from decaying organic matter in the soil, Listens (Tway blade), Spiranthes (lady's tresses), Malaxis (bog-orchis), Liparis (fen-orchis), Corallorhiza (coral root), also a saprophyte, and Cypripedium (lady's slipper), represented by a single species now very rare in limestone districts in the north of England.
Orchis papilionacea, L.
Geranium, Cardamine pratensis, mallows, Rubus, Oxalis, Epilobium, &c., but many species show more or less well-marked median symmetry (zygomorphism) as Euphrasia, Orchis, thyme, &c., and red, blue and violet are the usual colours.
The following, however, among others, are distributed throughout the whole, or a great part, of the range: Colchicum alpinum, Crocus vernus, Orchis globosa, Petrocallis pyrenaica, Astragalus depressus, A.
Thyme and the small white dune-rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia) also grow in the dunes, and wall-pepper (Sedum acre), field fever-wort, reindeer moss, common asparagus, sheep's fescue grass, the pretty Solomon-seal (Polygonatum officinale), and the broadleaved or marsh orchis (Orchis latifolia).
An orchis found in the mountain yields the dried tuber which affords the nutritious mucilage called salep; a good deal of this goes to India.
The number of pollinia varies; thus, in Orchis there are usually two, in Cattleya four, and in Laelia eight.
The two pollinia in Orchis Morio contain each about 200 secondary smaller masses.
orchis italica is widely distributed throughout the Mediterranean countries on all four shores of the sea.
The two anther-cases in an orchis are erect and nearly parallel the one to the other; the pollen-masses within them are of course in like case, as may be thus represented II, but immediately the pollen-masses are removed movements take place at the base of the caudicle so as to effect the bending of this stalk and the placing the pollen-mass in a more or less horizontal position, thus -, or, as in the case of 0.
- Tubercular roots of Orchis mascula, a terrestrial Orchid.
The most important are the following: Ophrydineae, with about 45 genera, of terrestrial orchids, mainly north temperate, including the British genera Orchis, Aceras, Ophrys, Herminium, Gymnadenia and Habenaria.
A few native species, however, can be grown in gardens, and of these one of the most singularly beautiful is the Bee Orchis (O. apifera).
Other interesting species for a collection of hardy Orchids are O. muscifera (Fly Orchis), arachnites and aranifera (Spider Orchis).
Orchis Foliosa - A handsome Orchid, one of the finest of the hardy kinds, 2 feet or more in height, with long spikes of rosy-purple blossoms in May, lasting long in bloom.
Marsh Orchis (Orchis Latifolia) - A fine native kind, 1 to 1 1/2 feet high, with long spikes of purple flowers in early summer.
Orchis Laxiflora - A pretty species, 1 foot to 18 inches high, with loose spikes of rich purplish-red flowers, opening in May and June, and thriving in a moist spot in the rock garden.
Rein Orchis (Habenaria) - Terrestrial Orchids from N.
The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage. They do not represent the opinions of YourDictionary.com.