In honor of National Orchid Day (April 16), we put together some fun facts about this beautiful plant family. And while our Greenhouse Garden is home to many tropical plants, including Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis), this area of the Garden is currently closed due to COVID-19. To help fill that void until we can reopen the area, we’ve included photos below of some of the orchids that call the Greenhouse Garden home. 

Fun orchid facts:

  • The Phalaenopsis orchid, known as the “moth orchid” because it looks like a moth, are the orchids in our Greenhouse at South Coast Botanic Garden.
  • “Orchid” is from the Orchidaceae family, and with more than 25,000 species it is one of the largest plant families on Earth.
  • The genus Orchis comes from the Ancient Greek word meaning “testicle” because of the shape of the bulbous roots.
  • Orchids originated in areas near the equator (warm, tropical climates) 200 million years ago and have since spread all over the world.
  • Orchids have been used for medicinal purposes, perfumes, horticulture and even food (most common use is vanilla, from the vanilla orchid).
  • Vanilla comes from the orchid called “Vanilla planifolia.” It is the only orchid that produces edible fruit. (Who knew vanilla is a fruit?!)

Please note: The South Bay Orchid Society meets the 3rd Friday of month 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., and has an annual sale each fall at South Coast Botanic Garden. For info call Arthur Hazboun @ (310) 995-1592

Orchid photos:


The Garden remains open for your walk or hike.

• Both Members and ticket-buyers require advance reservations
through our online system.

• All guests are required to wear protective face coverings and maintain
the required safe physical distance from others.

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