Orchidology (undergraduate) ORH4280


General Information:

  • E-learning site 
  • This is a web-based online course with weekly lectures, assignments, and/or learning activities

Course Description:

The principles and practices involved in the biology and production of orchid plants and flowers, including nomenclature, breeding, seed culture, harvesting, and handling

The purpose of Orchidology, ORH4280 is to provide students with general knowledge on the principles and practices of orchid biology and culture. This includes exposing students to the beautiful and exciting diverse world of orchids. We aim to provide students with a broad perspective and greater appreciation for orchids, as well as to elucidate their potential and value as a commercial ornamental crop.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will:

  • Understand the history of orchids and why these plants are so popular and important
  • Understand the ecology and evolution of orchids (i.e., habitats, distribution, etc.), as well as conservation approaches
  • Appreciate the complexity of orchid classification and tools used for classifying orchids
  • Understand orchid nomenclature and terminology used for species and hybrids
  • Explain the vegetative morphology of orchids (i.e., flower parts, types of pseudobulbs, etc.)
  • Explain the reproductive morphology of orchids (i.e., pollinia, reproductive structures, etc.)
  • Explain the mechanisms that regulate flowering in orchids (i.e., photoperiodism, thermoperiodism, etc.)
  • Describe the basics of orchid culture, including different media and growing environments
  • Understand the basics behind orchid genetics, as specifically related to flower colors
  • Understand the basics of plant nutrition and the role of hormones in orchids
  • Explain the main pests and diseases that affect orchids
  • Appreciate the complexity of pollination mechanisms and the interaction flower-pollinator in orchids
  • Describe the different methods for orchid sexual and asexual propagation, including tissue culture
  • Appreciate the ethnobotanical utilization of orchids
  • Understand the different systems for commercial production of orchids and respective markets