This is a unique species of orchids that has flowers looking like both a moth as well as a bird head. This is the reason why it is called bird’s head orchid in some places while it is referred to as moth orchid in other places. From a distance, the flower resembles a moth in flight but if you look up close, you can identify the head of a bird guarding the nectar. This species is one of the most common among orchids that look like animals or birds. Many scientists believe that the nature has tried to imitate the head of a bird inside the flower to ward of many types of insects from eating the nectar.
Moth orchid or the bird head orchid can be easily grown at home on a ledge formed at the bottom part of a window (windowsill). This species of orchids has a strong system of roots and it can bloom all round the year. If you talk about orchids, this species is the most common one to be sold as potted plants. These orchids thrive in a temperature range of 20-35 degrees Centigrade but they can also adapt to a temperature range of 15-20 degrees Centigrade.
The plants of bird’s head orchid require high humidity levels of 60-70% and low light conditions. But they can adapt very well to the low humidity levels found inside homes. Though these plants require heavy watering, excessive watering can lead to rotting of the roots. As these plants are easier to grow than other species of orchids, it is natural to find people growing them at home.
Spikes on which flowers appear arise from pockets situated close to the base form where leaves grow. The spike continues to elongate first and later fat buds appear on it which later bloom. Bird’s head orchid is not a tall species of orchids and its plants grow up to a height of 10-14 inches.
Facts about the Bird Head Orchid
- Habitat: Turkey, Greece, Balkans, Iran, Iraq, Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan
- Scientific name: Phalaenopsis
- Other common names: Moth orchid, bird’s head orchid