How Do Orchids Reproduce?

Elvis Elvis

Orchids are very versatile when it comes to reproduction. They are also individually selective and have adapted themselves to use a variety of pollinators. One neat example is the Bee Orchid. Male bees are attracted to the orchid because it mimics a receptive female. The male bee advances and after a frustrating attempt the male bee leaves the flower and becomes an unwitting carrier of the pollen.

Some orchids provide a landing platform for the unwitting pollinator to use. When the pollinator lands for a rest or meal, they fly off with pollen stuck to them and ready to be brushed on the next orchid that gets landed upon.

Other orchids are stealth in their pollination methods. The slipper orchid is a good example of this. It attracts an insect by scent to the edge of its pouch. The insect slips down top the bottom of the pouch and has to pass through a doorway loaded with pollen to escape and move on to another slipper orchid for pollination.

How Do Orchids Reproduce?

Orchids do not rely upon insects alone to pollinate themselves. The also use the services of hummingbirds, small animals, bats, and the wind for a continuation of their lifecycles.

Orchids can produce millions of tiny seeds. One pod can contain as many as 4 million of these tiny seeds. Because the seeds are so small, they do not contain the natural reservoir of food that most other plants seeds do. For this reason, it’s a good thing for orchids they do produce so many seeds to guarantee the next generations.