Wood Orchid Meaning

Orchids are among the oldest plants on earth, and some scientists believe that these plants originated about 120 million years ago. The wood orchid meaning was sacred in various ancient cultures and still carries a significant emotional and spiritual value today.

Wood orchids are associated with love, fertility, prosperity, joy, power, and strength. Since they are resilient plants, people believed they symbolized endurance. In Victorian times, orchids were scarce, so they were a sign of luxury and elegance.

The meaning of wood orchids has changed throughout the years, but the beautiful blooms are still prized among plant and flower lovers. Keep reading to learn what they meant in ancient cultures and what they mean today.

Wood Orchid Meaning in Various Cultures

Science shows that bees pollinated orchids more than 80 million years ago. Yet, these beautiful plants were first mentioned in ancient Chinese and Japanese literature about 4000 years ago.

Wood orchids are prevalent in different parts of the world and hold significant value in various ancient cultures. They were prized for their beautiful shape, resilience, and outstanding fragrance. As a result, they were associated with deities and royal families.

Wood Orchids in China

The father of traditional Chinese medicine Shen Nung, mentioned the benefits of orchid medical tea. The tea improved the immune system, fixed eyesight problems, treated stomach pain, and helped with kidney disease.

The tea was used for several years and is still popular today, contributing to the orchid’s value in modern Chinese culture. Today, wood orchids are associated with good health and good luck. They’re also a sign of friendship, integrity, and power.

The great Chinese philosopher, Confucius, talked about the value and meaning of orchids, saying that these beautiful plants would grow where other plants won’t. As a result, orchids were a sign of welfare and good luck. Therefore, people believed that receiving orchids meant that the person would enjoy a happy and successful life.

In Feng Shui, orchids represent fertility because of the shape of the flowers and the roots. This is why those interested in energy would put orchids in the relationship corner of their bedroom or by the door to invite loving energies into their lives. You can also give someone an orchid if you want to enjoy a long-lasting relationship with them.

Wood Orchids

Wood Orchids in Japan

The ancient Japanese believed that orchids signify peace, love, and good fortune. People also loved their exceptional fragrance, and some cultivars, like the dendrobium orchids, were associated with royalty. So they would be seen growing in royal palaces.

Because wood orchids are epiphytic and lithophytic, they’re considered resilient. In addition, wind orchids were associated with the samurai warriors as a symbol of bravery and courage.

Today, the Japanese people believe that orchids are associated with endurance, good luck, and success. This is why Japanese business people would send them as gifts before and during business deals to signify cooperation and future success.

Wood Orchids in Greece

Ancient Greeks believed that the tuberous orchid roots looked like the male sex organs, so the flower was linked to fertility, prosperity, and love. Therefore, they were widely used in wedding celebrations as they symbolized union and love.

They believed that eating the roots of orchids could influence the baby’s gender. So, if the father ate the thick tuberous roots, the couple would have a male child. If the mother ate thinner rots, they would have a baby girl.

According to the old Greek legend, Orchis was killed by Dionysus, the god of wine. His father mourned his death and asked the gods to bring him back, so they grew the orchid flower instead. As a result, orchids symbolize new beginnings and joy after sorrow.

Paphiopedilum, or the Venus slipper, is a rare subfamily of orchids that is almost extinct in the wild due to its outstanding shape. The name is related to Paphos, an ancient site in Cyprus that the ancient Greeks believed was where Aphrodite landed after rising from the sea.

Today wood orchids are popular at weddings and birth celebrations. People can send these flowers to tell someone you think about them.

Read more: Bearded Iris Flower Meaning: Everything You Need to Know

Wood Orchids in Rome

Orchids were widely depicted in Ancient Roman artwork, where they were linked to celebrations, birth, and prosperity. Orchids were used to decorate the temple of Venus Genetrix, the goddess of sexuality, desire, and fertility. They were also shown on the Ara Pacis, which was dedicated to Pax, the goddess of peace.

As a matter of fact, because they were widespread, the beautiful orchids were widely depicted in home decorations and fabrics. Yet, after Christianity, the popularity of orchids declined, probably because of their link to pagan gods and sexuality.

Europe became fascinated with these flowers during the Renaissance era when the significance of Roman culture was rediscovered. Today orchids are the flowers of love, joy, and abundance. They’re quite popular as bouquet flowers because they maintain their shape for a long time.

Wood Orchids in America

The Aztecs believed that orchids signified power and strength. They would use white and brown orchids to increase their power and energy.

Warriors used the vanilla extract from orchids to sweeten their cacao drink and prepare a potion that gave them energy. They also added some chili for a little kick. Moreover, they prized the flowers for their beauty, so they were a symbol of internal and external beauty and strength.

Native Americans believed that orchids had medicinal benefits, so they made medicinal orchid tea to treat cough and cold symptoms. Some orchids were dried to produce a glue-like substance used to repair different items.

The Mayans used orchids in their religious rituals, so they were associated with death and sacrifice. As a result, the beautiful flowers held great significance in their culture.

Nowadays, Americans use orchids as outstanding cut and bouquet flowers. They have dramatically beautiful colors and can last in a vase, adding beauty to any space.

Platanthera clavellata

Wood Orchids in Europe

After the Europeans were introduced to orchids, all the wealthy families aspired to own these beautiful plants. Wood orchids were rare in Victorian times, and they cost a lot of money to obtain. As a result, having or gifting someone orchids was a sign of wealth and appreciation.

Rich people and those who belonged to the royal family collected orchids as a sign of refined taste. The rarer the orchid, the more elegant it was. Sending someone a rare orchid was a token of appreciation and love.

Today, hundreds of cultivars come in every shape and color. So, finding an orchid for every occasion shouldn’t be an issue. They also present an integral ingredient in the perfume industry.

Related: Bearded Iris vs. Dutch Iris: All You Need to Know

Wrap Up: Wood Orchid Meaning

Wood orchids were prized in different cultures because of their beauty, fragrance, and botanical traits. Because the flowers are known to be resilient, they are often associated with power, rebirth, strength, and energy.

The shape of the flowers linked them to love, fertility, and sexuality in various cultural references. They were also linked to royalty, thanks to their beauty.

Wood orchids still hold a significant value in modern culture. They are flowers of joy, love, fertility, and resilience and are also used to make fragrances.