Orchid, one of the “four gentlemen” in Chinese art, along with the plum blossom, chrysanthemum and bamboo, are cherished in Chinese culture. They signify integrity and nobility.

The Chinese philosopher Confucius used the orchid plant as a symbol of virtue, and says that a person could learn from an orchid growing in a deep forest. It sends out its fragrance even if no one is around to appreciate it. The beauty of virtue comes from within through self-practice and self-reflection, it does not need recognition or praise from others.

Thousands of years later, we still appreciate orchids for their delicate and graceful look and fragrance. The orchids we see the most today as cut flowers or potted house plants are the tropical species that are usually phalaenopsis, cymbidiums, and dendrobiums. They are surprisingly long lasting, available all year round, and make elegant and classic designs for any occasion.

This image is available in my current collection; below are various designs I have created that showcase the wide variety of orchids and their uses in floral arrangements.