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ORCHIDS

With over 25,000 species and 100,000 varieties, orchids are the largest family of blooming flowers. Orchids have been an important symbol in human culture, art and literature. The ancient Greeks regarded orchids a symbol of virility. They believed orchids with large tuberous roots symbolised male children, while orchids with small tubers symbolised females. The Victorians collected and displayed them as a sign of luxury and a means to show their refined taste. They are becoming ever more popular and are often grown as houseplants and used by florists in floral displays. Orchids have the added benefit of staying fresh for a good while.