top of page

Treasure Coast Trivia- Weird and Wonderful Orchids

These blossoming beauties are a favorite among locals and newcomers for their extraordinary beauty, widespread availability, and budget friendly prices. Test your knowledge of the weird and wonderful world of orchids!

Florida has more than 100 native orchid species but among the rarest is this bloom made famous by a popular book:

a. Bee Swarm Orchid

b. Ghost Orchid

c. Wild Coco Orchid

d. Butterfly Orchid

The answer is B

The Florida Ghost Orchid is known for its delicate white flowers with corkscrewing petals. Native to Florida, Cuba, and the West Indes, the Ghost Orchid is an epiphytic species that flowers in the summer. It is endangered in the wild notoriously difficult to cultivate when removed from its natural environment. Because of this, it was famously featured as a target of orchid hunters in the novel The Orchid Thief. Blooming in June and July, the Ghost Orchid has long white, nearly translucent white petals that give them a “ghostly” appearance when the move with the night breeze. Only around and estimated 1,500 Ghost Orchids are left in Florida today.


The most widespread orchid species native to Florida is:

a. Butterfly Orchid

b. Cowhorn Orchid

c. Cigar Orchid

d. Water-spider Orchid

The answer is A

The Florida butterfly orchid is one of Florida’s prettiest native orchids. Its flowers are small and colored yellow, copper, green, orange, or bronze. A cluster of these blooms looks like a flutter of tiny, colorful butterflies. There is also an 'alba' form with white and green flowers. Throughout the state they bloom between May and July. The Florida butterfly orchid grows in almost every county in the state and can withstand a freeze, making them popular on the northern edge of their range.


Which is one of the only commercially grown spices derived from Orchids?

a. Cinnamon

b. Vanilla

c. Saffron

d. Turmeric

The answer is B

Vanilla is a spice derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily obtained from pods of the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla. The majority of the world's vanilla is the V. planifolia species, more commonly known as Bourbon vanilla (after the former name of Réunion, Île Bourbon) or Madagascar vanilla, which is produced in Madagascar and neighboring islands in the southwestern Indian Ocean, and in Indonesia. Madagascar's and Indonesia's cultivations produce two-thirds of the world's supply of vanilla.


All orchids are edible.

a. True

b. False

The answer is A

The flowers of all orchids are considered edible, and some are even ingested as herbal medicine in certain cultures. However, some species can cause stomach irritation when consumed. No orchid is poisonous to animals such as dogs and cats. Orchids are most used in salads, desserts, and drinks. In Asian culture, medicinal teas using orchids have been around for centuries to treat everything from headaches to cancer.


The “The Gold of Kinabalu” from Indonesia has the following distinction among orchids:

a. Foul odor

b. Largest flowers

c. Rarest in the world

d. Most expensive

The answer is D

Also known as the “Rothschild’s slipper orchid” named for the person who discovered it, is the most expensive orchid in the world, fetching up to six thousand dollars per stem!Housed mostly in Kinabalu National Park, a World Heritage Site in Malaysia, this rare orchid can take up to 15 years to bloom.The flowers are stunning with a lovely scent, and its leaves are semi-translucent.


The world’s largest, and currently oldest orchid plant is known as:

a. Elephant Ear Orchid

b. Jacob’s Ladder

c. Tiger Orchid

d. Queen of Sheba

The answer is C

Grammatophyllum speciosum, also called tiger orchid among a few other common names, is a species of orchid native to Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Borneo, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi) and Malaysia. It has also been recorded in the Philippines, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It is listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest orchid, with specimens recorded up 25-feet high and weighing as much as two tons. The oldest individual orchid plant is also a G. speciosum. Planted in the Singapore Botanic Garden in 1861 by Garden Director Lawrence Niven and his staff, it was 154 years old in 2015 and so would now be 161 years of age. The plant is also 16 feet wide!


Approximately 70 percent of all orchids are epiphytes which means what?

a. They are parasites

b. They are terrestrial

c. They are air plants

d. They are tropical

The answer is C

Epiphytes grow on the surface of other plants and derive their nutrients from the air and rain as opposed to the host plant itself. Some orchids are terrestrial, but the majority are air plants. Epiphytes make up approximately 10% of all plant species and are common among bromeliads, ferns, orchids, and many more plant groups.


The word orchid is derived from the Greek work “orchis” which means:

a. Naked man

b. Testes

c. Feet

d. Whale

The answer is B

Orchid- comes from the Greek word órchis, meaning “testicle.” How did the Greek word for testicle give rise to the name of a type of beautiful flower? Well, the roots of orchids were thought to resemble testicles. And that’s pretty much all we have to say about that.


Dracula Simia is an orchid species that resembles:

a. A vampire’s fangs

b. A bat’s wings

c. A lion’s face

d. A monkey’s face

The answer is D

Some people believe that the word “Dracula” in the name refers to long spikes that resemble fangs, which are found at the end of their petals. But, Dracula Simia is better known as the monkey face orchid. These rare flowers grow at high altitudes of 1,000-2,000 meters (3000-6000 feet) above sea level and are native to Peru and Ecuador. They can bloom at any time, and when they do they smell like oranges.


bottom of page