All About Orchids

One very popular flower is the orchid. Most likely the reason for this is its exotic look. And even more unique, in the orchid family, is the black orchid. The black orchid’s genus name is bulbophyllum. This specific orchid belongs within a species that can vary greatly with their appearance.

The name bulbophyllum originates from both the Latin and the Greek. The latin “bulbus” means bulb-like and the greek, “phyllon” meaning leaf are descriptive of its form. This exotic plant is the largest genus in the Orchidaceae or Orchid family, as well as being one of the the largest in the entire plant kingdom. Numbering at about 1805 species, the study of the black orchid is no small feat.

Bublophyllum and their many different species can vary greatly. Some variations are in their environment, growth pattern, smell, form, and their look. It can be very difficult to identify because of this. Most of the time it is identifed by looking at the specifics and the structure of the flowers on the plant.

This genus can range from anything between a winding root climber, and an erect plant. This is why it is so important to know the specifics about identifying a true bulbophyllum. This is why it can be extremely difficult, even for the most experienced taxonomist. But since it is such a challenge, it also makes it that much more interesting.

The conditions that the black orchid can grown in also vary. They can thrive in countries from Austrailia, Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, and Papua New Guinea. Nearly one third of these species orignate from Papua New Guinea, making this forest diverse with these complex plants. Some of these forests are actually losing their natural setting, which is in turn inhibiting their growth.

Many of the orchid species are under the threat of extinction. Four of them are currently on the endangered list, and sadly, two are critically endangered. The bulbophyllum filiforme is native to Nigeria and Cameroon, which it growns in sub-tropical or tropical dry forests, and is now on the critically threatened list because it is losing it’s naturual habitat. The second one on the list is bulbophyllum Kupenese, also native to Cameroon, but this species grows in sub-tropical moist montane.

The black orchid is both beautiful and exotic, not to mention intricate in its design. A common person may not be able to label a black orchid as such which makes it all the more interesting to those who study them and are able to differentiate.

Preserving the environments they grow in is very important so that we will be able to continue studying this obscure and complex plant.
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