A Wealth Of Hybrids
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Over a century and a half of orchid hybridizing has led to a huge propagation of new varieties. Long breeding lines have emerged that have resulted in new colors, shapes, and sizes of blooms, creating even more variation than is found among the species.
Today, new varieties or grexes are registered with the Royal Horticultural Society in Great Britain, which is the world authority for the registration of orchid hybrids. The number of registered hybrids currently stands at over 100,000 a figure that is increasing by 3,000 each year, and testifies to the extraordinary breeding properties of orchids.
However, only the very best of these hybrids are used for commercial production; hybrid genera’s such as Vuylstekeara (which is a combination of three natural genera’s; Cochlioda x Miltonia x Odontoglossum), are more vigorous and often more tolerant of temperature variations than are the species. Consequently, they are in greater demand and are far more suitable for a beginner to grow. In fact, many species orchids are now very rare in the wild.