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Moon Orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis)

Orchids are amazing plants, as they are the ones most likely to look like something else. The Moon Orchid is no exception. So what exactly does this plant look like, and what is the science behind it?

Physical Description and Behavior

This plant is an herb with coarse branching roots which can be up to 3 feet long or longer. The stem can be up to a foot long, with white flowers that bloom that can be about 3 inches wide. These flowers have a small yellow labellum that has red markings on it.

This plant can also be propagated asexually. At the end of the season when the flower dies, a shoot may start to appear near the bottom of the stem. If you wait until the shoot's roots are about an inch long, you can cut it away from the plant and create a new Moon Orchid from it.

One of the defining features of this plant is that is can look like a variety of different things to the human eye. For instance, many people have likened their appearance to a tiger, or the Virgin Mary. The reason for this has to do with humans seeing patterns where they do not exist, otherwise known as pareidolia.

Habitat and Location

This flower likes to grow on trees and sometimes rocks in the rainforests. It prefers to grow in extremely humid temperatures. It is native to the islands of the southern Philippines to Borneo, Sumatra and Java. It has a few subspecies which can be found in places like New Guinea and Australia.

Australia has considered a subspecies of this plant to be endangered. This is mainly due to illegal collecting due to their popularity.

You can find some good information on orchid care in the video below, which explains more about the growing process of this plant.

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