Our exploration of orchids available as cut flowers continues with the more luxurious and extravagant orchids.
Phalaneopsis orchids are everywhere in bridal magazines! They are the typical “moth orchid” plant you might see at Trader Joe’s or any other shop selling plants. As cut flowers, they are no longer that Home Depot plant, but transformed into something entirely different taking your and your guests breath away! Phalaenopsis are mostly found in white – perfect for weddings – but they also come in magenta and light yellow. They also exist in other colors and it is not uncommon for a florist to acquire hundreds of orchid plants just to snip them for their single stem of flowers. What makes them so stunning is the way they drape like a cascading waterfall, dramatically spilling over the edge of a container. A centerpiece consisting of a tall vase filled entirely of phalaenopsis is like a tall weeping willow of fluttery, delicate white blossoms.
Cymbidium orchids are wonderful because they come in a variety of colors – green, pink, white, burgundy, orange, gold, and brown – and each bloom is quite large. If the regular cymbidium is too big, you can substitute with mini cymbidium orchids which work well for boutonnieres, corsages, and flowers for the hair. Cymbidium orchids are typically more expensive overall, however each stem can come with upwards of 9-12 blooms. If the individual blossoms are used for a bouquet, each flower must be wired and taped which can be quite labor intensive, making them a little more costly in the end. If an entire stem is used, say for a centerpiece, this too can be a little more expensive especially if more than one stem is used. Cymbidiums are a very versatile orchid and you can mix them beautifully into a bouquet, each blossom can be glued onto a manzanita branch, or you might also float or immerse the orchids in water.
Vandas, Lady Slippers, and Cattleyas
These orchids can be found at the market as cut flowers, but perhaps not as commonly as the other orchids. Vandas are large and come in a gorgeous purple color as well as pink. Their shape and texture is similar to phalaenopsis without the cascade. Lady slippers are more exotic in look and earthy in feel. Cattleyas come in bright pinks with a lovely ruffly texture and are large and showy.
For many brides, a wedding may be the only time she will justify spending thousands of dollars on something as ephemeral as flowers. So why not get the flowers she really wants? There is just something about orchids and for many, they simply must be featured at our wedding! Lucky for us, there are many different varieties available to fit into any budget!