Orchidaceae

plural noun

Or·​chi·​da·​ce·​ae
: a very large family of highly specialized perennial herbaceous monocotyledonous plants (order Orchidales) that have entire sheathing or scalelike leaves, tuberous or bulbous or thickened roots, and extremely complex usually showy flowers with a calyx of three often petaloid sepals, a corolla of three petals of which one forms a distinctive and often spurred labellum, a column consisting of the variously fused style, stigma, and stamen, the pollen usually aggregated into pollinia which adhere to visiting insects, and an inferior ovary and that reproduce by minute seeds lacking endosperm and containing chlorophyll see orchid, orchis

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Orchid-, Orchis, type genus + -aceae

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Cite this Entry

“Orchidaceae.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Orchidaceae. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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