Are Orchids Succulents?I Bet This Will Surprise you!

Orchids are a beautiful species of plants that are often debated for being a part of succulents or not. Today we will get an answer to this debate.

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Jimena Bolívar

June 13, 2021


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Introduction

Orchids are one of the most famous plant types out there, but there are many misconceptions and questions regarding orchids. One of these tricky questions is, are orchids succulents? Today, we will discover the criteria for being succulent and check that either orchid does or doesn’t fulfill these criteria. Well, let’s find out!

Orchids do share many characteristics of succulents, such as being hardy plants that can survive in harsh, low-light conditions and with little water. Many species of orchids, such as epiphytic orchids, have embraced the succulent lifestyle.

Criteria for being a succulent 

General criteria or a checklist that is often used when discussing or including any plant into succulents are: 

  1. Having the ability to store water in leaves, roots, or stems and survive on little or no water for long periods.
  2. Having Xerophytic qualities, i.e., it can survive prolonged droughts without severe damage to the plant or leaves.
  3. Having the ability to survive and grow well under less food and care.

What is an orchid?

White orchid flower

Orchid is a type of flowering plant from the Orchidaceae family. This family is the largest family among flowering plants with over 28,000 different species. Orchids are most popular due to their variety of colors and variants. These are often associated with tropical landscapes, but that’s not entirely true as species of orchids are found all over the Earth except Antarctica.

Are Orchids Succulents?

Orchids are known to have many similar characteristics as succulents. Orchids are also known to be hardy plants that can survive in harsh, low-light conditions and little water. Many species of orchids, such as epiphytic orchids, have adopted the succulent lifestyle.

I have compiled a list of orchid species that are considered succulents.

1. Acampe

Acampe flower

Acampe is a species of orchids distributed from Asia to India, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and some islands of the Indian Ocean. The basic word Acampe generally refers to small inflexible flowers.

Plants in the Acampe genus are known to form slow-growing thick vines with thick leaves. These also produce fragrant small yellowish flowers barred with orange or red stripes.

2. Vanilla

Vanilla flower

Vanilla orchids are known to form 110 species in the orchid family. Its most well-known member is the flat-leaved vanilla native to Mexico. Overall this widespread genus is found all over the world in tropical and subtropical regions.

Vanilla is also well known and famous for its heavy usage for industrial purposes such as flavoring food products, beverages, and cosmetics. Plus, it’s also recognized as one of the most potent aromas and flavors.

3.Calanthe

Calanthe flower

Calanthe species are most commonly known as the Christmas orchids. These are a genus of about 220 species in total belonging to the family Orchidaceae. Calanthe is found in tropical areas with most concentrated around SouthEast Asia.

Calanthe is evergreen plants having thick roots with stretching flowering stems and large crumpled leaves. Calanthe is known to produce delicate white, pink, or orange flowers.

4. Liparis

Liparis flower

Liparis species are most commonly known as sphinx orchids or widelip orchids. These are a genus of about 350 species in total belonging to the family Orchidaceae. Species of Liparis are found on almost every continent except Antarctica.

Liparis orchids are epiphytic or lithophytic herbs with only one, two, or a few leaves. Liparis species produce small to medium-sized dull yellow, dull greenish, or purple flowers having quite an unpleasant odor.

5. Ansellia

Ansellia flower

Ansellia species are most commonly known as leopard orchids or African Ansellia. Ansellia is a monotypic genus of orchids having only one species. Plants of Ansellia are native to Southern Africa and can be found alongside rivers or in the canopy of trees.

These species of orchids are known to form large clumps attached to a branch of large trees. Ansellia species have characteristic yellow or green-yellowish flowers marked with brown spots. Its flowers don’t last long, and their maximum lasting period is 10 days.

6. Oberonia

Oberonia plant

Oberonia species are most commonly known as fairy orchids. These consist of about 240 species belonging to the family Orchidaceae. Oberonia species of orchids are native to Africa, southern Asia, Australia, and some Pacific and Indian Ocean islands.

These species of orchids are known to have specific fan-like leaves. These produce small, short-lived large number of cup-shaped flowers.

7. Eulophia

Eulophia plant

Eulophia species are most commonly known as corduroy orchids. These consist of about 200 species belonging to the family Orchidaceae. Eulophia species of orchids are native to Africa, and Asia, disturbed in shady rainforests or open woodland areas.

Some of Eulophia species are evergreen orchids, while most are known to be terrestrial. Many species of Eulophia don’t have leaves, and some which have leaves are known to have long and narrow leaves. These produce flowers arranged like a thin-flowering spike, available in a wide variety of colors.

8. Bolusiella

Bolusiella plant

Bolusiella species is a genus of flowering plants currently having almost 4 species belonging to the family Orchidaceae. These species are native to sub-Saharan Africa and Comoro Islands.

Bolusiella species are often less than a few centimeters tall, and their leaves are sword-shaped, fleshy, and light green. These are known to produce long-ranging ranked rows of beautiful flowers.

Useful Products

Orchid Flower Plant, Pink Double Spike

These are some high-quality wide-ranged orchids. Choose according to your taste and enjoy beautiful indoor live flowers when the orchid arrives and watch it bloom for up to three full months with proper care

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Color Orchids Live Blooming Single Stem

Long lasting, easy to care orchids perfect for your indoor environment

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Ending thoughts

In today’s article, our primary focus was, is an orchid succulent or not? I started today’s article by defining all related terms and specified the rule of thumb for including a plant in the succulent category. Furthermore, I answered our main query and gave examples of some succulent species of orchids. I finalized my today’s article by recommending some valuable products. I hope you were able to get an ideal answer to your question.

That’s all from my side for today. If you are a beginner and want to grow some easy to care succulents, then you should check these succulents for beginners.

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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