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Phalaenopsis amabilis (moth orchid)

The moth orchid was one of the first orchids to be described from the Far East and its hybrids are now popular as houseplants.
Detail of an illustration of moth orchid

Detail of an illustration of Phalaenopsis amabilis

Species information

Scientific name: 

Phalaenopsis amabilis (L.) Blume

Common name: 

moth orchid, moon orchid

Conservation status: 

Species as a whole has not been evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria, but P. amabilis subsp. rosenstromii is Endangered in Queensland. Listed in Appendix II of CITES.

Habitat: 

Epiphytic on tree trunks, branches and rocks in lowland tropical rain forest.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Lilianae
Order: 
Asparagales
Family: 
Orchidaceae
Genus: Phalaenopsis

About this species

Orchids (Orchidaceae) are the largest family of flowering plants, and there are over 50 species of Phalaenopsis alone. The genus name is derived from the Greek phalaino (moth), and opsis (appearance), referring to the moth-like flowers of some species.

Synonym: 

Epidendrum amabile L., Cymbidium amabile (L.) Roxb., Synadena amabilis (L.) Raf., Phalaenopsis gloriosa Rchb.f., Phalaenopsis grandiflora Lindl.

Genus: 
Phalaenopsis

main info