White Orchid Meaning & Symbolism: Important Facts

Are you curious about white orchid meaning and symbolism? We’ve got you covered!

White orchids represent purity, innocence, faith, and beauty. Moreover, these flowers can represent elegance, luxury, and reverence. Throughout history, orchids have also been associated with fertility and forbidden love.

Settle yourself into a comfortable position and prepare to learn some surprising facts about the stunning white orchid!

What Is the Meaning and Symbolism of White Orchids?

Aside from their classy look, the meanings behind white orchids are relevant for a variety of special occasions. Even if there isn’t a special occasion, simply having a vase of white orchids at home will give the space a lavish feel.

White, as a color, mainly goes hand in hand with the words innocence and purity. Add in the glamor of orchids, and we’ve got a bride’s best friend!

At most weddings, you’ll notice that white orchids are commonly used in decor or centerpieces. That’s unless the bridal bouquet is made entirely of white orchids, which we completely understand. This plant can rock any bouquet by itself or perfectly complement any other flower.

The meaning of white orchids doesn’t end there, as white orchids also symbolize:

  • Elegance
  • Faith
  • Beauty
  • Luxury
  • Safety
  • Fertility
  • Reverence
Picture of white orchid against blurred background

The Historical Significance of Orchids

We’re talking about one of the oldest flower species on the planet, so it’s only natural that it has a lengthy history.

When we say oldest, we mean it! Orchid fossils dating back 76 to 84 million years have been discovered.

Drumroll please as we take you behind the scenes of some of history’s most famous orchid stories.

Ancient Greeks and Orchids

Orchids played a major role in Greek Mythology. In fact, Ancient Greeks named them. Technically speaking, the orchid genus was named ὄρχις (órkhis), which is the Greek word for “testicle.” We wish we were joking, but we aren’t. We can thank John Lindley, an English botanist, for slightly changing its name to orchids in 1845.

Allow us to explain why the ancient Greeks named it that way. They gave it this name because it described the tuberous roots of its terrestrial species. Then, came the classic Orchis story, who was the son of a satyr and a nymph.

Orchis committed a crime when he attempted to rape a Dionysus priestess. This act doomed him and he was punished to death, which tore his father apart. The satyr kept praying for his son to return to life, but magically an orchid grew instead.

It wasn’t long before Dioscorides, a Greek physician, proposed that orchids influenced sexuality. The ancient Greeks believed that orchids could determine the gender of an unborn child, where if the father ate a large orchid tuber, they’ll get a boy. Alternatively, if the mother ate smaller portions of the tube, they’ll get a girl.

All of these stories linked orchids strongly with meanings such as fertility and virility.

Picture of White orchids

Ancient Chinese and Orchids

The Chinese have always held a special place in their hearts for this bloom. It symbolizes love and beauty in their culture. Additionally, it’s used to signify wealth, fortune, and unity.

In ancient China, orchids were valued not only for their allure but also for their medicinal properties. They believed that orchids can treat coughs, fevers, and headaches, as well as help build healthy lungs.

Even Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, used to compare orchids to noble qualities. Where he compared it to superior men, and its scent to be the delights of friendship.

What’s more, he described honest and honorable people with orchids, as both defined their culture.

Ancient Mexicans and Orchids

Last but not least, one of the greatest love stories, with an aromatic ending involving vanilla orchids. The plot starts with a demigod princess breaking the rules and falling in love with a mortal warrior.

They were so in love that they decided to elope against all odds. Sad to say, it didn’t take long for her celestial father to learn about their love story. He decided to end it in the worst way possible by murdering them.

Their blood poured onto the earth, sprouting vanilla orchids. The plant symbolized their love’s sweetness, richness, and innocence.

The ancient Mexican tribe, Totonacs, believed that vanilla orchids were a gift from the God of love. To always remember this forbidden and yet pure romance.

On a side note, Totonacs were the first known people to cultivate vanilla orchids, dating back to the 15th century.

Which Countries Have an Orchid as Their National Flower?

This bloom tempted several countries to assign it as their national flower. Here are some of those countries and the orchid species they chose:

  • Singapore: Vanda Miss Joaquim
  • Guatemala: La Monja Blanca (White Nun Orchid)
  • Columbia: Cattleya Trianae Orchid (May Flower)
  • Brazil: Cattleya Labiata (Cattleya Orchid)
  • Panama: Peristeria Elata (Holy Ghost Orchid)
  • Seychelles: Tropicbird Orchid
  • Belize Encyclia Cochleatum (Black Orchid)
Picture of Pink orchid against white background

4 More Orchid Colors With Fabulous Meanings

Orchids are members of the Orchidaceae family, which is the second-largest plant family after the Asteraceae.

Orchidaceae is also known as The Orchid Family since orchids make it up, including more than 700 genera and 28,000 individual species.

In other words, a white orchid has a plethora of siblings. Here are the meanings of four more orchid colors:

1. Blue Orchids

Blue orchids, as lovely as they appear, are rare and sometimes endangered. Their foliage is so phenomenal that flower shops try to mimic it by dying white orchids blue.

So, a word to the wise, don’t buy a blue orchid plant. You’ll be disappointed when the new blooms turn out to be white, assuming the dye hasn’t already stained your cloth.

Due to its scarcity, a blue orchid resembles natural beauty, uniqueness, and spirituality.

2. Red Orchids

Red is the language of lovers, and when it’s mixed with orchids it symbolizes fiery love! Red orchids are perfect for expressing love, desire, and passion to your partner. This makes it a perfect match for red roses on Valentine’s Day.

Aside from the romantic connotation, this bloom also represents strength, courage, and determination.

Besides, the exotic scent of those red blooms is used in the production of perfumes and body lotions.

3. Green Orchids

Green orchids shout out positive vibes to the world. Giving them to someone is a heartfelt gesture as they resemble:

  • Good health
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Longevity
  • Good fortune

Green orchids are the Japanese equivalent of a leprechaun. In Japanese culture, it’s believed that having them in your home will bring you good fortune and countless blessings.

4. Pink Orchids

When you see the color pink, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You guessed it! Pink orchids portray feminity and grace.

Those sweet blooms also symbolize joy, fertility, gentleness, and innocence. This combo makes them a top choice for baby showers and baptisms.

Picture of white and pink orchids

What Are the Health Benefits of Orchids?

We’ve already mentioned that orchids have been shown to have health benefits in the past. Now we’ll discuss their proven healing properties:

1. Aids Digestion

This flower is high in fiber and essential minerals, which help to ease bowel movements. This reduces the likelihood of bowel conditions such as diarrhea and constipation.

2. Immune System Booster

Orchids contain high concentrations of vitamin C, which is key to a healthy immune system. It’s also an antioxidant, which means that it fights free radicals to prevent inflammation and infections.

3. Relieve Peptic Ulcer

Orchid juice can help balance the stomach acid that causes this condition. Along the way, it soothes the spasms and pain caused by acid eating away at the inner surface of the stomach.

4. Cosmetics

In the cosmetics industry, this bloom is like a magic potion. Its extract contains vitamin A, magnesium, zinc, and calcium, which are all beneficial to your skin.

Orchid oil is excellent for moisturizing and soothing the skin. It also conceals aging signs by reducing wrinkles and tightening the skin.

Wrapping Up On White Orchid Meaning & Symbolism

A white orchid’s meaning is a lot of things. It’s purity; it’s elegance; it’s so many things, but Amen to them all.

Seeing this bloom is related to happy memories in our minds. Except for the part about finding out how it got its name!

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