There are nearly 35,000 different types of orchids – and each is beautiful in its own way – but some just boast unique features that put them ahead of the rest.
Many of the vibrant colored orchids can be found in the tropics, where the weather is warm and humidity is ever growing. While this is the ideal location for most orchids to grow, you’ll notice that orchids have become a new addition to many households.
So whether you are looking for a new house plant or just have an honest curiosity about this type of plant, you have to check out this list of the top 30 most beautiful orchids in the world.
Table of Contents
- 1. Bamboo Orchid
- 2. Spathoglottis Plicata
- 3. Bird’s Head Orchid
- 4. Monkey Face Orchid
- 5. Vanda
- 6. Miltassia
- 7. Cymbidium
- 8. Flying Duck Orchid
- 9. Oncidium Forbesii
- 10. Epidendrum Orchid
- 11. Bletilla Striata
- 12. Drakaea Glyptodon
- 13. Phalaenopsis
- 14. Caladenia Melanema
- 15. Bee Orchid
- 16. Lady Slipper Orchid
- 17. Dove Orchid
- 18. Dendrobium
- 19. Anguloa
- 20. Sarcochilus Falcatus
- 21. Spathoglottis Gracilis
- 22. White Egret Orchids
- 23. Miltoniopsis
- 24. Brassavola Orchid
- 25. Vanilla
- 26. Catasetum
- 27. Maxillaria
- 28. Cattleya
- 29. Cycnoches
- 30. Odontoglossum
1. Bamboo Orchid
Also known as the “Dendrobium Berry Oda”, the Bamboo Orchid is easily one of the most beautiful orchids in the world and it’s not hard to figure out why.
The orchid gets its “informal” name because of the way its stem has a significantly close resemblance to the bamboo plant. Most Bamboo Orchids are made up of a handful of stems, and each one can grow up to 15 beautiful flowers.
The blooming process lasts about 3 months, so there are times when this orchid is completely bare of its flowers.
It’s such a unique orchid that you will not be able to find it at your typical florist; it would have to be specially ordered if you wanted to keep one in your home. It’s is actually a popular orchid to order considering its breathing purple floors and lovely fragrance of raw honey.
This orchid thrives in tropical environments, so you’ll often spot it in places like Hawaii, Costa Rica, and throughout Asia.
2. Spathoglottis Plicata
Primarily called the “Philippine Ground Orchid”, the Spathoglottis Plicata makes the list as one of the most beautiful orchids in the world because of its varying colors.
No two Spathoglottis Plicata are the same – and they’re often seen boasting colors like purple, pink, white, and yellow. On average, this ground orchid will grow up to 4 large leaves and bud as many as 40 flowers per plant.
These orchids can grow an average of two feet tall, given they are planted in the proper soil and live in an area where warm weather is nearly constant.
It can be found in the tropical parts of Asia, throughout Australia, and has even made its way to the coasts of Florida.
3. Bird’s Head Orchid
Known for being one of the common orchids to have potted in your home, the Bird’s Head Orchid’s easy maintenance is one of the many reasons it is loved by all.
One look at this beautiful orchid will explain how it got its unique name because the white flowers look like a bird guarding the nectar.
It is also known as a “Moth Orchid” in some places because of the way it looks like a moth in motion.
This orchid is native to countries such as Turkey, Greece, Iraq, and Taiwan – but because of its ability to adapt, it can be found planted in places throughout the world.
4. Monkey Face Orchid
While there are few different types of Monkey Face Orchids, one thing remains the same: they all look like the face of a monkey. If that’s not amazing enough to score them a spot on the list of the most beautiful orchids in the world then their vibrant colors of pink, blue, purple, orange, green, and more will!
They are most commonly found in places like the Cloud Mountains of Peru and southeastern parts of Peru because they thrive in environments that are 2,000 feet above sea level.
While the monkey face orchid is a rare sight, it can thrive in a variety of temperatures – and has one of the longest life spans, with an average of 18 years.
With that being said, it does also take this orchid up to 7 years before it even begins to bloom.
Also known as the national flower of Singapore, the Vanda orchid is a truly beautiful sight – but it is also considered to be an extremely rare species, and faces endangerment.
These orchids thrive with very little soil and can often be found wrapped around the bark of a tree or clinging onto the edges of a cliff. This makes it easy to maintain within your home, given you live in a tropical climate or have a way to provide the Vanda warmth year round.
There are quite a few different types of Vanda, all of which can be found throughout Asia – but almost every species boasts spectacular blue flowers that make them stand out in any setting.
A cross between a Brassia and Miltonia, the Miltassia Orchid is an exotic type of plant that is considered beautiful for its unique composition.
The flowers on the Miltassia stretch out to pointed edges that make it look like a spider, and its spotted purple pedals are a breathtaking sight.
This strange beauty has resulted in an increase in Miltassia plants in households where they can grow with ease, as long temperatures do not drop below fifty degrees.
It also thrives in areas with high humidity – which is why it is most commonly found on tropical islands and throughout parts of Asia.
Believed to be one of the oldest cultivated orchids in the world, it only makes sense that the Cymbidium has to be beautiful to gain such popularity.
Aside from the many vibrant colors that convince people to place them on their windowsill, this orchid also requires very little attention – so it’s easy to take care of.
Before its debut in households, the Cymbidium could be found in the high altitudes of places like Southeast Asia and Northern Australia.
The orchid gets its name based on its appearance with the English translation of “boat”, and you can see this resemblance in its flower pedals.
In parts of Asia, this beautiful flower is known for symbolizing friendship, and gifting this to your peers is one of the highest honors.
8. Flying Duck Orchid
One picture of this one-of-a-kind orchid is all you need to understand where it gets its name from – but it’s even more impressive in person. This orchid blooms in colors of blue, purple, and green throughout the end of spring and the beginning of summer.
While the flowers are quite small, there’s no denying the uncanny resemblance to a duck in flight – but this is no coincidence. This unique orchid has adapted into this shape to trick sawflies into thinking they’ve found a mate so that they’re guaranteed an insect to pollinate their flowers.
This is one of the few orchids that cannot be found in stores and has not been cultivated in any location outside of its native home in Australia.
9. Oncidium Forbesii
Also known as “Forbes’ Oncidium”, the Oncidium Forbesii orchid bears many names and is also frequently referred to as a “butterfly orchid” because of its unique shape. Its vibrant orange and yellow colored flowers have an uncanny resemblance to a roaring fire pit.
While this orchid is often found in places throughout the Caribbean and tropical parts of America, the Butterfly Orchid actually thrives in cool to warm temperatures.
In fact, the orchid reaches the peak of its yearly cycle in the fall – when the weather conditions are the most ideal for its growth.
10. Epidendrum Orchid
Found in all shapes, sizes, and colors, the Epidendrum Orchid is definitely one of the most interesting genera and its beauty is unmatched.
There are actually over 1,500 different types of the Epidendrum Orchid, and nearly all of them survive amongst the trees. This is also how this orchid got its name – since the Greek phrased Epidendrum Orchid actually translates to “an orchid that grows upon the trees”.
You may also hear this orchid be called other names like star orchids, reed orchids, and crucifix orchids because of their slim, pointed flower pedals.
While many orchids only bloom for short periods throughout the year, the Epidendrum sports vibrant flowers almost year round.
This frequent beauty is one of the many reasons it has become such a frequent sighting in households around the globe.
11. Bletilla Striata
The most popular of the Bletilla family, the Bletilla Striata is a Chinese ground orchid that is known for its simple beauty.
The leaves of this orchid look like a skinny version of palm leaves, and each stem can grow up to 5 flowers. They look very similar to the Cattleya orchid (see below), but can be distinguished by their spots and stripes.
Their ability to withstand cold temperatures and their vibrant purple flowers make them great additions to any household, but they are native to certain parts of Asia – including Japan, Korea, Myanmar, and China, where they grow in large groups.
12. Drakaea Glyptodon
Also known as the “Hammer Orchid” or the “King in his Carriage”, the Drakaea Glyptodonis is one of the most unique orchids that you will ever set your eyes on.
It is considered to be a sneaky plan,t as the stalk stretches out to a dark purple stoma that looks awfully similar to a female wasp.
The orchid uses this stoma to trick male wasps into thinking they’ve found a mate and uses its strong stem to stand its ground when the wasp tries to fly away with it.
During this process, the male bumps into other parts of the flower and completes the pollination process without even realizing it.
This is one of the many reasons this orchid is so special and has been named the least orchid-looking orchid in the world.
Almost everyone has set their eyes on a Phalaenopsis before, as it is one of the most popular houseplants across the globe – but this doesn’t make it any less beautiful.
The reason they make such great house plants is that they don’t need soil to grow. In fact, they can get all the nutrients they need to survive in the air!
However, if this orchid is left out in direct sunlight for too long it can suffer from burn marks on its pedals – so it’s best to keep them in indirect light.
Given their tropical experience, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that this orchid is native to areas like the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, and the Himalayas.
An interesting fact about this popular orchid is that the Phalaenopsis has been around for millions of years, with fossils that prove that they shared the land with the dinosaurs.
14. Caladenia Melanema
Widely known as a ballerina orchid, the Caladenia Melanema is one of the many orchids that is named for the way it looks. Its long, colorful flower petals are perfectly curved in different ways to look like a person performing a variety of different ballet-style dances.
It is only natively located in one place across the globe, making it one of the rarest orchids in the entire world.
The only place you’ll ever get a chance to see one of these beautiful orchids is by traveling to the southwestern part of Australia near Lake Altham, amongst the sandy terrain.
15. Bee Orchid
Another breathtaking orchid named after its resemblance to things you see in your everyday life is the Bee Orchid, and its unique structure is hard not to admire.
The orchid looks like a bee feeding on a flower with its one fuzzy, yellow and black striped pedal surrounded by three bright pink pedals.
Like many other orchids that use this same tactic, the resemblance to a bee helps the orchid attract other beers looking to mate and makes the pollinating process a lot easier.
But even with the sweet aroma that is constantly being released to attract bees, the Bee Orchid can actually survive on its own using a self-pollination technique.
16. Lady Slipper Orchid
Located throughout Eurasia and across the Americas, the Lady Slipper Orchid is not only a unique type of orchid but is also considered to be one of the most beautiful.
The name “Lady Slipper” comes from the portion of the orchid’s flower that creates a slipper-like pocket, which is used to capture insects.
When a bee lands on this flower to feed on nectar it becomes temporarily trapped, so that it gets fully covered in pollen.
The bee must then wiggle its way out of a small opening that leads to another slipper so that the pollination process can continue.
Aside from its interesting method of survival, the Lady Slipper orchid is a naturally beautiful sight with its vibrant colors and abundance of spots.
17. Dove Orchid
Also referred to as the Holy Spirit Orchid and the Holy Ghost Orchid, the Dove Orchid has been listed as an endangered species because people tended to pluck its beautiful flowers.
If you couldn’t tell by its many names, the Dove Orchid is almost entirely white with specks of pink around its center.
And if you look very closely, the center itself looks unmistakably like the head of a dove surrounded by its feathers.
It is simple but gives off the feeling of powerful energy and because of this, it has been labeled as the national flower of Panama.
You will often find them in very large groups on the outskirts of hardwood forests in places like Panama, Costa Rica, and Trinidad.
Commonly used in corsages and bouquets for events like weddings, the Dendrobium can make a beautiful addition to just about any special occasion.
There are more than 1,500 different types of Dendrobium, but all of them can be found throughout parts of Europe and Asia.
Although part of the same family, varying types of Dendrobium require different climate conditions for them to thrive – however, one thing remains constant: once the Dendrobium blooms, it gives way to silky soft pedals that can be a large variety of colors.
One thing that makes this orchid so special is its ability to remove pollutants and toxins from the air.
Frequently referred to as the “Swaddled Babies Orchid”, the Anguloa is unlike most of the orchids you can find around the world – and this is part of what makes it so beautiful.
Although considered to be one of the smaller types of orchids, they’re hard to miss considering their large bulbs and pedals that look like swaddled babies.
In fact, the pedals are extremely large in comparison to their stems and their cream color contrasts with the greenery around them so they are very easy to spot.
Come springtime, these interesting flowers will bloom and their sweet, strong smelling aroma travels through the air around them.
They like to spend their days in higher elevations and are known to live in places like the Andes Mountains where the humidity is high.
20. Sarcochilus Falcatus
Also known as the Orange Blossom Orchid, the Sarcochilus Falcatus is native to the eastern parts of Australia – but their natural beauty has led to the cultivation all around the world.
The orchid gets its nickname because of how its flowers look and smell almost identical to that of the popular orange blossoms.
These orchids are not solitary plants and will often be spotted in large groups surrounded by thick, leathery leaves. While sightings have been recorded in various colors, the most common Sarcochilus Falcatus boasts pure white petals, vibrant purple stripes, and yellow coloring around the lip.
21. Spathoglottis Gracilis
Referred to as Spathoglottis Plicata’s equally attractive sibling, the Spathoglottis Gracilis orchid boasts many of the same features.
Like its family, the Spathoglottis Gracilis can be found in wet forests and swamps where sunlight is abundant, in places like India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and many more.
However, what makes this orchid different is its flower petals which are a bright yellow color unlike any of its counterparts.
They’re impossible to miss given their vibrancy, and are frequently found in households thanks to the way they can brighten up a room.
22. White Egret Orchids
If you couldn’t figure it out on your own, the White Egret Orchids is named after its unique flowers that look incredibly like an egret flying through the sky.
This interesting flower design has also scored it other names like the crane orchid and the fringed orchid thanks to its spiked edges.
While this orchid is becoming more and more popular in nurseries, it is actually endangered throughout its native land in Asia, where development has eliminated much of the grassy wetlands it lives off of.
Part of what makes them a growing choice for household plants is the way that a singular bulb can offset into a large group over time.
Also known as the Pansy Orchid, the Miltoniopsis flowers bear an uncanny resemblance to a pansy and can easily be mistaken for one at first glance.
Unlike your average pansy, the Miltoniopsis is native to Brazil and Columbia. However, it is not uncommon to see this orchid around, the world since it can handle a variety of climates and makes for a beautiful addition to any home.
Each orchid has multiple stalks that give way to an abundance of colorful flowers with breathtaking possibilities like maroon, yellow, light purple, and hot pink.
Plus, these orchids grow straight up with an average height of 1 foot – so they make for the perfect houseplant.
24. Brassavola Orchid
Nicknamed The Lady of the Night, the Brassavola Orchid is a one-of-a-kind plant that’s beauty is unmatched.
You will know a Brassavola Orchid when you see one thanks to their unique flower pedals that are always shaped like either a star or a heart.
These pedals are a snow-white color with the occasional colorful spots and have the ability to bloom multiple times per year.
One thing that is really interesting about this orchid is the fact that it only releases its sweet, citrus-smelling aroma once the sun goes down. Moths are their lead pollinators – so the orchids adapted to release these smells when it knows the moths are out to play.
Part of what makes the Vanilla orchid so beautiful is its versatile use – but there is no denying that its cream-colored flowers are a wonderful sight to look at.
The most important thing to know about the Vanilla Orchid is that it is the only edible orchid in existence – and just so happens that it is adored by many.
The vanilla that makes up your ice creams, yogurts, and extracts for baking comes right from the fruit that grows upon this orchid.
But the Vanilla Orchid can only successfully live on its own in southeastern Mexico, where the Melipone bee guides the pollination process.
While it has been successfully cultivated in other parts of the world, it can only be done with the use of hand-held pollination – and if this orchid goes 24 hours without it, it will die almost instantly.
The largest number of Catasetum can be found in Brazil, but in reality, this orchid can be found throughout Central and South America.
Since it can be found in so many different places and has made adaptations to those environments, there is an extensive list of Catasetum to choose from – but every type of Catasetum offers natural beauty with its unique style of flowers and large, thick stems.
While much of the Catasetum is completely green in color, you’ll find the occasional orchid boasting colors like black, red, yellow, and white.
Part of the Orchidaceae family, the Maxillaria boasts over six hundred different variations that are each more beautiful than the last.
All of which can be found throughout the tropical climates of the Americas, Argentina, Brazil, and West Indies where the elevation exceeds 3,000 feet.
You can spot these lovely orchids in a variety of different sizes, ranging anywhere in between a half of an inch and seven inches.
The same goes for its color; you can see these flowers with vibrant pedals such as yellow, red, purple, white, and nearly black.
Also known as Queen of the Orchids, it is easy to figure out that the Cattleya is one of the most popular orchids around the world, and here’s why.
The Cattleya grows large, dramatic flowers that can be a variety of different colors, and this natural beauty has labeled them as one of the most beautiful orchids in the world.
In fact, when most people think of orchids, their minds will almost immediately go to Cattleyas since they’re the most talked about and praised.
To make things even better, the sweet smell of a Cattleya is intoxicating and can make anyone fall in love if they haven’t done so already.
Natively located within the depths of Central and South America, the Cycnoches is made up of many unique features that make it beautiful inside and out.
For starters, the Cycnoches is one of the few orchids that have separate male and female flowers. Even more interesting is the fact that its sex depends on the climate the orchid grows in.
It is also referred to as the Swan Orchid because of the way the stem of flowers resembles that of a swan’s long neck.
Nestled high within the cloud forests atop the mountains of Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia, the Odontoglossum thrives in high elevation and cool temperatures.
Because of this, they’re rare to spot in the wild – but those lucky enough to encounter one will be amazed by their beauty.
The Odontoglossum stands tall with large, flashy flowers that can come in a variety of colors like green, yellow, red, and white, with splotches of brown and purple.
Luckily, their growing popularity has placed them in many florist shops and makes for great additions to flower arrangements, considering their two-week shelf life.