Monday, 2 January 2012


Orchidaceae get their name from the Greek ὄρχις (órkhis), which literally means "testicle", a nod to the naughty nub shape of their roots.

In Greek mythology, Orchis was the son of a ugly a nymph and a satyr who came upon a festival for Dionysios deep in the woods. Liking his fermented grapes a wee bit too much, he overindulged on wine then tried to have his way with a priestess of Dionysios.

As a result the Bacchanalians tore him limb from limb. His grieving father prayed to the Gods for him to be restored. Not that keen on folk of his ilk but feeling kindly, they turned him into a flower instead.