Orchid Colors: Discover the Rarest to Most Common

Multi-colored orchids in pots
© Summer 1810/Shutterstock.com

Written by Jessica Keyes

Published: April 16, 2024

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2024 gardening time is upon us! When it comes to adding Orchid Colors: Discover the rarest to most common. Enhance the garden and home this year and for years to come. They are one of the oldest known flowers in existence! Perhaps, you even prefer to grow them in the house or go and see them while hiking. Depending what county your from, certain varieties and colors are perhaps more plentiful. In fact, the South American continent is home to more than 300 different genera and 12,000 species, making it the most orchid-diverse continent in the world.

The most common colors of Orchids include pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, and white colors. Each one has a meaning associated with its color and variety. And, each color has a meaning and purpose. As well, the orchid is a flower rich in symbolism and meaning entwined in history and various cultures. Each of these identified colors has a picture to help with visualization throughout the text. Color meaning and symbolism is in the description.

Pink Orchids

Pink orchid flower

Pink orchids are more common and symbolically stand for femininity, grace and elegance.

©Oleksandra Danilian/Shutterstock.com

The presentation of pink orchids show admiration, appreciation, or gratitude. Anthophiles (flower lovers) and florists that are looking for pink orchids can enjoy this variety of color worldwide. For enthusiastic pink orchid appreciators, and who are also betta enthusiasts – there is even a pink orchid betta fish!

Purple Orchids

The more common purple orchid is cattleya mossiae. It is often used to express admiration, respect, or dignity.


A purple colored orchid is usually highly adaptable to a variety of habitats and is more common. There is even an Orchis genus that contains 20 species of terrestrial orchids (family Orchidaceae). It is native to Eurasia and northern Africa. Interesting fact, the tuberous roots of Orchis mascula and several other species contain a nutritive starch.

Orange Orchids

A common-colored Orange guarianthe orchid which is representative of excitement, enthusiasm, and determination.

Orange orchids also show appreciation and pride. You can find Orange color orchids in a myriad of places, and some with especially unique character. For example, the Southeast Asian Habenarias, that have an orange orchid variety. This orchid is promoted as being among the most difficult orchids to grow. Another example of a unique orange orchid is the Orange fringe orchid. The fringe orchid is a native perennial plant in the Orchidaceae (orchid) family in the eastern and southern portions of Canada and the US.

Red Orchids

The Ruby Mokara orchid is associated with desire, passion and love.

©Wiyada Jaroenkhan/Shutterstock.com

The red orchid color is an exotic beauty in its own right and brings vibrant color to the garden and home. An example not to miss is the Ruby Mokara orchid. This particular orchid was created in Singapore in 1969 as a result of crossing two genera. The mokara orchids are perennial man-made hybrids that don’t occur in nature.

Yellow Orchids

Cattleya luteola orchid

The Cattleya luteola orchid is said to convey happiness, joy and strength.

©Motohiro Sunouchi / Flickr - Original / License

Yellow orchids are serene and also convey friendship, warmth, and well-wishes. But remember, some varieties of orchids can be easier to care for than others. The Phalaenopsis orchid, which has yellow or other color-variety flowers is also known as a “beginner” orchid. They are one of the easiest varieties to grow as a houseplant.

White Orchids

Moon orchids as pictured here are very famous orchids in Indonesia. They are a symbol of purity and innocence.

White orchids also bring on signs of appreciation, respect, or reverence. White orchids convey a message of hope or new beginnings. A dramatic and pricey white orchid to note is the White Cascading Orchid timeless in its own rite. Another example, dendrophylax lindenii is another one of natures delicate wonders that are also not surprisingly endangered.

Blue Orchids – Harder to Find

Close-up of a stunning blue orchid is a symbol of rarity and uniqueness.

©Adriano Makoto Suzuki / Flickr - Original / License

Blue Orchids are a charm to find aside from being rare themselves. They are sunlight-loving orchids. As well, the color of white flowers is either dyed blue, or may also be injected into the bloom spike and it finds its way into the flowers. These genetically blue altered flowers are eye-catching beauties. There are few natural blue orchid plants. For example the rare blue Vanda coerulea orchid. This blue orchid location is in Northeast India, and seen as a prized possession and sought out by many orchid aficionados.

Green Orchids – Hard to Find

A Locust green orchid symbolizes

nature, harmony and rejuvenation.

©Motohiro Sunouchi/Flickr - Original / License

Green orchids bring good health and fortune into the home and are a gem. A little natural green goes a long way. The blooms and plant itself are very hardy. For example, the Green Cymbidium Orchid (15 on the list). Many other flower colors usually take the show, but the natural beauty of the green cannot be denied.

Rare Black Orchid found in Asia and Pacific Islands

Rare Black orchid (Belize National Flower) in bloom. They are said to represent mystery, power, and sophistication.

©Joy Baldassarre/Shutterstock.com

A black orchid also conveys a message of strength, determination, and absolute power. Black orchids are not truly black. Black color orchids are usually over-pigmented red or purple orchids that are so dark they only appear black. When hunting for the rarest to most common orchid colors, black orchids top the rare color list an interesting black orchid to note is Cooper’s black orchid. This particular orchid is a rare and critically endangered species found only in New Zealand and relies on fungi for the nutrients it needs to sprout.

Orchid ColorRating
BlueHard to Find
GreenHard to Find
Orchid Color and Commonality Chart

Rare Color Combination Orchids that Deserve a Mention

Gold of Kinabalu Orchid (Paphiopedilum rothschildianum)


Rare orchid collectors are everywhere and different varieties of orchids have a specific country location where prevalent or found. For example, you can only find The Gold of Kinabalu Orchid (Paphiopedilum rothschildianum) in Malaysia. It is a rare species of orchid with a location centered on Mount Kinabalu. Its vibrant yellow color and distinctive shape make it highly sought after by collectors. And, it could cost as much as $5,500 per flower. This is only one flower on the world’s most expensive flower list.

Other Recent Orchid Discoveries to Note in Asia

Orchids Discoveries to Note 2023-2024

  • Spiranthes hachijoensis is a new species of orchid was recently discovered in Japan. The petals look like they are spun from glass.
  • Scientists and their orchid survey team have recent findings of a new rare orchid species, called Kuhlhasseltia motuoensis in the Medog County, southwest China’s Xizang Autonomous Region.
  • The rare small whorled pogonia spans from Canada to as far south as Georgia in the United States. New Hampshire and Maine have the largest populations of this particular orchid in the world.

Anthophiles in general, and especially orchid lovers, should have some garden and home inspiration as spring and summer approach. Happy planting, growing, harvesting, and displaying.

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About the Author

Jessica Keyes writes for A-Z Animals. Primarily covers small animals and nature. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1999 from Fairfield University. She more recently finished working as an Associate short-term in a local pet store during the Covid downturn. During her time there she was able to explore animal behaviors more in-depth, best overall practices and honed her skills with multiple animals maintained and sold daily. She has guinea pigs hamsters, a dog and fish. (Many of which were obtained from her time at the pet store, with no regrets!) In everything she does, there is always a soft spot for nature and animals. Jessica currently lives in Troutman NC. She is a 12+ year virtual assistant, motivational author, blog/article writer and youth development advocate. A member of the local Chamber of Commerce and Toastmasters International.

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