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Orchid house


The Orchid house has a tropical climate, the temperature varies between 20-26 C (58-78 F), and the humidity is about 70%. Orchidaceae is one of the largest plant families with approximately 30 000 wild growing species worldwide. Most orchids grow in tropical areas. In the rainforests, many orchids grow as epiphytes. An epiphyte is a plant that grows non-parasitically upon another plant, usually trees.

Darwin’s Orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale)

Is one of the most interesting orchids when it comes to pollination. The flowers are white and waxy and have a very long spur, up to 40 cm! There is nectar at the bottom of the spur, a reward for the visiting insect.

When Darwin discovered the orchid, in the 19th century, he never found the pollinating insect. But he foresaw that there must exist a butterfly with a very long tongue (proboscis) that pollinated the orchid. In the beginning of the 20th century, after Darwin’s death, the butterfly was found. It is a hawk moth, which got the name Xanthopan morgana ssp. praedikta.

This relationship between plant and insect is one of the most famous examples of evolution.