L'wild orchidit grows spontaneously and can also be observed on our territory. Here is an overview ofwild orchid, what are the Italian species and how to treat it.
When it comes toorchids, the mind immediately recreates the images of those splendid showy flowers. Actually with the term "orchid”We can indicate about 20,000 different plant species, not to mention varieties and hybrids selected by nurserymen.
To simplify everything, it is possible to make two distinctions. We can talk aboutrustic orchidsisexotic orchids. Exotic orchids are native to tropical areas and are almost all epiphytes.
Wild orchid: epiphytic or geophytic plants
Epiphytes are those plants that live on other plants! They therefore develop the root system at the level of the bark of trees and shrubs, but also on substrates of mosses, lichens and other sessile organisms. Theepiphytic plantsthey are also called "air plants". This explains why the orchid soil is so special!
Many of what are calledrustic orchidsthey are geophytic plants: herbaceous plants that carry buds underground (bulbs, tubers and rhizomes). When it comes towild orchidwe are not referring only to epiphytic plants (as happens when we speak oforchidto grow at home!) but the circle is growing!
Thewild orchids"Epiphytes" have very showy flowers and various colors. In contrast, rustic orchids feature smaller flowers. Therustic orchids they are all spontaneous plants (so they could all be defined as "wild orchids"). They have erect stems that end in flowers: the flowers are different from those you find displayed in the shop window by florists, however they retain a great charm.
Rustic orchids are almost always geophytes. In Italy they grow in the prairies in different climatic zones and express their beauty for a limited period of the year. They are perennial plants but follow a very precise vegetative cycle: when the cold becomes intolerable for the plant, it goes into vegetative rest, drying up and then developing again with the warmth of the following season.
Cultivating the wild orchid
Thecareto be dedicated toorchidwildthey are not easy to spot. First of all: are you faced with a geophytic or epphite plant? Based on this you will have to choose the soil, the exposure and the place ofcultivation.
Exotic wild orchids need the same care seen in the article dedicated toorchid in the house. These plants, in fact, with our climate, need to be grown in a protected environment.
The rustic species (rustic wild orchid), on the other hand, with our temperate climate, can also be grown in the garden. If you are thinking of growing an orchid in the garden, outdoors, then you will need to aim for a local orchid.
Know that you cannot collect thewild orchidsthat you find in the Italian grasslands and undergrowths. Furthermore, among the species ofspontaneous orchidsthere are some Italians included in the list of protected species. If you want to start thecultivationof a'wild orchidyou will necessarily have to contact an agricultural consortium specializing in floriculture or a trusted nursery. Do-it-yourself with the collection of seeds is completely inappropriate as the seeds, in order to develop, need very specific conditions. In nature, the propagation ofwild orchidoccurs only occasionally by seed, rustic orchids multiply by division of underground buds.
As stated above, geophytic plants present underground organs known as bulbs, tubers and rhizomes. In the garden, themultiplication of the orchidit can similarly occur by division of the rhizome or tuber (in practice by cutting the rhizome and tuber into several parts and making sure that each portion has at least one bud) or division of the tufts (in the case of bulbs).
Italian wild orchid
In Italy we have 190 species and subspecies oforchids classified into 29 different genres. It is important to underline one thing: it is a very broad classification because of these 190 specimens there are only threeepiphytes. TheorchidsItalian epiphytes are:
- Liparis loeselii
- Malaxis paludosa
- Spiranthes aestivalis
These plants grow on moss carpets, mud substrates or in peat bogs. If you want to know where spontaneous orchids grow here in Italy, we recommend the Gargano National Park and we recommend that you watch the following video which offers suggestive images of homegrown orchids.
You can find several wild orchids in the natural parks scattered throughout the territory. For example, in Lombardy, you can admire wild orchids at the Parco delle Orobie Bergamasche and the Parco Monte Barro.