Lady’s slipper orchids are among the most desired of all hardy orchids. Often colorful and striking, these rhizomatous perennials have a distinctive inflated pouch or modified lip (labellum) that resembles a slipper or shoe. The slipper can be as large as a chicken egg or quite small depending on the species. Cypripedium is a genus of terrestrial orchids in the Orchidaceae family. It includes about 50 species, most of them quite hardy, which can be found in America, Europe, and Asia.
Dactylorhiza (Marsh Orchids) are deciduous terrestrial orchids boasting lance-shaped leaves, sometimes spotted with burgundy, and showy terminal spikes crowded with purple, pink or white flowers in spring and summer. Because of their spectacular colorful inflorescences and their relative ease of cultivation, Marsh Orchids are the most widely grown European orchids. Marsh Orchids are very cold-hardy and do not require any special protection in winter. They can be grown outside in zones 5 through 8, depending on species.
Originating in the jungles of the Far East including Indonesia, Paphiopedilum (Slipper Orchids) are semi-terrestrial orchids, growing in humus and other material on the forest floor, on cliffs in pockets of humus and occasionally in trees. Paphiopedilums are called Slipper Orchids because of their unique floral pouch. Resilient and easy to grow in the home, they are probably the easiest orchids to rebloom, or at least to keep alive.
Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchids) is a genus of 60 species and several natural hybrids growing in tropical Asia to the Pacific Islands and Australia. These orchids are usually epiphytic (growing on trees), but occasionally lithophytic (growing on rocks) or terrestrial. They are among the most popular cultivated orchids and thousands of hybrids have been made throughout the years.
Stars of the bog garden, there are quite a few species of hardy terrestrial orchids that can turn a slow-draining, waterlogged spot into a beautiful attraction. With hardiness zones ranging from zone 3 through 9, they add an unexpected touch of exoticism in the landscape.
About 80% of orchids are natives of tropical latitudes, but a surprising number of terrestrial orchids are hardy, some even able to fearlessly withstand temperatures below -22°F (-30°C). With hardiness zones ranging from zone 2 to zone 9, they add an unexpected touch of exoticism in the landscape with their vibrant colors and long-lived blossoms.
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