The structure of orchids: the appearance and purpose of the pseudobulb and other parts of the plant

Pseudobulbs are known to most flower growers by the name false bulb or flower tuberidium. Many people call pseudobulbs an elevated air tuber. This part of the plant is a thickened near-earth or near-subsubstantial part of the stem of the plant in orchids. The presence of such an organ characteristic of epiphytic representatives is necessary and carries great functional significance.

General information

Bulb-shaped thickening is characteristic of plants with a sympodial type of branching of shoots. Rhizomes are formed on the horizontal parts of the shoots, and bulbs in the form of a bulb are formed on the vertical shoots located above the substrate.

New shoots develop from the bud at the base of the shoots located on the previous line. Other nodal compounds also have buds, which ensure the survival of such a plant in close to extreme conditions. Roots can be formed exclusively on the rhizome of the shoot.

What does a pseudobulb look like

Bulbs of orchids are formed from soft tissues that have a high content of mucus. On top of the bulb have a coating of a rather thick-walled epidermis, which prevents the evaporation of moisture. The pseudobulb allows the plant to survive in the harsh conditions of a long dry period.

The presence of storage organs on the plant may indicate that the natural conditions at the place of natural growth are characterized by the alternation of a dry period and wet seasons.

Bulb indoor orchid is formed by one or more thickened internodes. Often there is a thickening of almost the entire vertical part of the shoot of the plant. Depending on the direction in which the growth of the representative of orchids occurs, uprightness can be distinguished, including Ansellius, "Lelia" and "To the collection" as well as drooping, including some species "Dendrobiums " and Khizis, and climbing plant types.

The shape, as well as the size of the bulb of a room orchid can vary significantly. There are representatives with round, oval, cylindrical, spindle-shaped, but most often you can find an ovoid type of pseudobulb.

Sometimes you can see bulbs with flattening on the sides of the Oncidium, as well as a pear-shaped or almost spherical version of Encyclicals. "Likasti", and Cymbidium and Odontoglossum possess pseudobulbs that have a height of several millimeters to 20 cm. There are known species on which the height of the bulb can reach 3 m with a diameter of 4 cm. Typically, such bulbs are observed on orchids of the species Dendrobium or The Epidendrum.

Pseudobulbs at the Cumbria Orchid

The purpose of the pseudobulb

Pseudobulbs on orchids are storage organs. The main function of such false bulbs is to accumulate a variety of nutrients. In indoor orchids that do not have bulbs, very fleshy leaves perform the qualitative functions of storage substances and organ moisture.

The main and most important function of the pseudobulb is the ability to accumulate water, as well as the nutrients necessary for the full growth, development and flowering of the plant. In addition, an important function of a bulb of a pronounced green color is the performance of a photosynthetic function.

More rarely, in indoor floriculture, plants with a monopodial variant of the branching system of shoots can be observed. Such orchids do not form pseudobulbs.

Other parts of the plant and their purpose

Orchids are perennial herbaceous, vibrant and elegant plants. Regardless of the type of branching of the shoots, the plants have the following parts.

The stalks

Species orchids "Arachnis", "Kleisostomy" and "Pelatanterium", and Wanda, through the stems can rise to a considerable height and form a branched air root system. Plants belonging to the category of epiphytes reach the top of trees and "distribute" flowers in the light. "Phalaenopsis", "Doritis" and "Shoe" have a shortened stem and leaves collected in a specific outlet.


Leaves can be either simple or whole-edge, and have noticeable differences in shape and size in different species. Species like "elephant Angrekum"have strap-like leaves with a length of up to 1 m, and "Oncidium Zebollet" characterized by the presence of cylindrical leaves. It’s almost impossible to consider Teniophyllum.

Orchids growing in conditions of significant illumination have thickened and leathery leaves. Indoor plants that prefer shade and related species "Calantha" or Fayusare characterized by the presence of thin and strongly folded leaves. Oncidium as well as species "Phalaenopsis" do not have a petiole, but such a variety as "Bulbofillum" has an underdeveloped petiole. The leaves of indoor orchids are green. Rarely enough, one can see bicolor or tricolor leaves of plants, as well as variegated varieties, among which "Anectochylus", "Makodesy" and Gemaria.

The roots

Monopodial varieties of orchids form a specific subordinate root system along a growing shoot. Indoor species of sympodial plants are characterized by the formation of such parts only on the rhizome of the shoots.

The functional feature of the orchid root system is unusually diverse and includes fixing on the planting substrate, as well as photosynthesis or absorption with the accumulation of moisture, as well as components with nutrients. The aerial roots of epiphytes have a specific structure.

Orchid inflorescences

Orchid inflorescences are represented by an apical or lateral brush, which can have a different shape and size. "Bulbofillum" form false umbrellas, "Dendrochilum" have spike-like inflorescences, and some species have branched inflorescences resembling panicles and reaching a length of 3 m.

We also offer you to find out how the orchid is fed.

Tips & Tricks

Most often in flower shops you can buy Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Venus slipper, Cymbidium, Miltonia, Vandu or Cumbria. Such orchid varieties grow well indoors and are suitable for beginner growers.

Orchids: Useful Tips

It should be remembered that "Phalaenopsis", "Wanda", "Oncidium", "Adeniodes", "Miltonia" are among the most resistant varieties of orchids that live perfectly at home when creating more or less normal conditions for their maintenance.