Q. How do I know if my plant is an orchid?
Orchids (family Orchidaceae) have flowers with 6 parts (3 petals and 3 sepals). One of the petals is usually modified to form a "lip". The leaves are shiny and tough, with most having parallel veins and others having patterns. Sympodial orchids (e.g. Cattleya and Paphiopedilum) have creeping stems with swollen storage organs (pseudobulbs). Monopodial orchids have a main stem which grows upwards and produces flowers between bases of the leaf axils.
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- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service