Black Orchids

Are these orchids really black? Though common in fantasy novels and perfume names, black orchids exist only in legend. Even varieties which appear black are actually dark purple or dark brown. The fact that they don’t exist in nature doesn’t stop the orchid world from trying. Many orchid breeders labor to turn myth into fact by raising ever darker hybrids.

Dracula vampira flowerDracula hybridPaphiopedilum hybrid

These almost-black orchids exude exotic beauty, intrigue, and mystery. Many have “black” or “midnight” in their names, like the Black Orchid which is the national flower of Belize. Members of the Dracula and Paph families above, and the Catasetum and Oncidium families below, show how closely these flowers approach an ebony color.

Fredclarkeara orchidFredclarkeara hybridOncidium hybrid

Some of these orchids are dark enough to inspire the claim to being black, but some just seem to be wishful thinking, or an attempt to boost flower sales. The Coelogyne and Cymbidiums below don’t need to claim an obsidian pedigree to look classy and luxurious. Maybe orchid hybridizers or scientists will someday create the elusive color, and finally claim the title of a truly black orchid. Until then, the black orchid legend lives on.

Coelogyne hybridCymbidium hybridCymbidium hybrid


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8 Comments on “Black Orchids”

  1. Lacey Yang Says:

    You’re right. If you look closely, you see that they are not really black. Very interesting flowers! I wanna say thanks for posting this.

  2. Maya Says:

    Gorgeous flowers!

  3. Tom Says:

    Marvelous, what great photos. Some of these don’t seem very black but some come very close.

  4. Paula Anderson Says:

    Thanks for sharing these great pics.

  5. Yu-hsin Tang Says:

    You know I love your blog!!! I’d seen many or chids labeled as black but not one of them really looked black to me. Once i saw very dark ones but they simply were not the right tone. I’ve given up trying to find the true black orchid very grateful for confirming what I found!

  6. James2012 Says:

    Marvelous, what a blog! You have some unusual orchids here. Thanks for sharing.

  7. JOHNNIEC35 Says:

    I don’t think any of these look black except for the 2nd dracula. That’s ok, I like more COLORFUL flowers anyways.

  8. Megan Janicki Says:

    Exciting post and thanks for sharing. Some orchids in above really look black! Many thanks for producing these kinds of a awesome photos.