Orchid culture in Europe began in the early 18ath century when European orchid collectors sent orchid adventureers around the world to gather exotic species of flora. American orchid culture began a hundred years later in the mid 19th century when the wealthy attempted to copy the orchid passion of the landed English gentry. The Asians, of course, had cultivated orchids for millennia before the Europeans began to navigate the world. In the West, orchids developed a reputation for not only being exotic, but expensive and difficult to grow.
A revolution in orchid culture occurred beginning in the 1970s when orchids became one of the first successful experiments in cloning or meristemming, as it became known in orchid circles. As a consequence, orchids have now become available to all and can even be purchased in grocery stores. Despite their new availability, orchids still remain to many the most intriguing of all floral species and the passion for orchids has if anything increased and not diminished. We remain fascinated by their beauty and their mystery.