What Is an Orchid Hybrid?

An orchid hybrid is the result of cross- pollinating two orchids to create a new variety. Orchid growers hybridize orchids for specific traits, including flower form, color, size, fragrance, and longevity.

¿Qué es una orquídea híbrida?

El híbrido se produce mediante la polinización cruzada de dos orquídeas para crear una variedad nueva. Los horticultores hibridan orquídeas para lograr rasgos específicos, como forma, color, tamaño, fragancia y longevidad de la flor.

diagram of orchids hybridization
Cattleya tigrina var. coerulea
© William P. Rogerson, photographer

Cattleya Loddiglossa var. coerulea ‘SVO’
Courtesy Sunset Valley Orchids, Fred Clarke, photographer

Cattleya Leoloddiglossa var. coerulea
Courtesy Sunset Valley Orchids, Fred Clarke, photographer

How Do You Make an Orchid Hybrid?

To make an orchid hybrid, orchid growers select two parent orchids with specific traits they want to combine. Only certain varieties of orchids can be crossed successfully.

Using a toothpick, the orchid grower takes the pollen from one parent and uses it to pollinate the other parent. If the cross- pollination is successful, the result is a hybrid with both traits.

With tens of thousands of orchids to choose from, the possibilities are virtually endless.

¿Cómo se hace una orquídea híbrida?

Los horticultores seleccionan dos orquídeas parentales con rasgos específicos que desean combinar. Solo se pueden cruzar con éxito ciertas variedades de orquídea.

Con un palillo de dientes, el horticultor toma el polen de un parental y poliniza con él al otro parental. Si el proceso es exitoso, se produce un híbrido con rasgos de ambos parentales.

Con miles y miles de orquídeas a escoger, las posibilidades son prácticamente infinitas.

Tour of the First Lady orchid collection with horticulturist Melanie Pyle.

Orchids Named in Honor of Women

This planter features orchids named in honor of women. The National Portrait Gallery’s collection includes portraits of many of these women.

Orquídeas nombradas en honor a mujeres

En esta jardinera figuran orquídeas nombradas en honor a mujeres. La Galería Nacional de Retratos posee retratos de muchas de ellas.

Introducing the Mary Vaux Walcott Orchid

Smithsonian Gardens has named a new orchid hybrid in honor of artist and naturalist Mary Vaux Walcott.

Discover Walcott’s story.

Presentamos la orquídea Mary Vaux Walcott

Jardines Smithsonian ha nombrado una nueva orquídea híbrida en honor a la artista y naturalista Mary Vaux Walcott.

Descubre la historia de Walcott.

Mary Vaux Walcott
Artist and naturalist Mary Vaux Walcott
Courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, 82-3136, photograph by Charles D. Walcott
The Mary Vaux Walcott orchid (x Rhyncattleanthe Mary Vaux Walcott) is a cross between x Rhyncattleanthe Carolina Orange D’Or ‘Lenette’ (left) and x Cattlianthe Trick or Treat ‘Orange Magic’ (right). Courtesy Sunset Valley Orchids, Fred Clarke, photographer
Cattleya Betty Ford ‘York’
Cattleya Betty Ford ‘York’
Courtesy Arthur Chadwick

First Lady Betty Ford 

la primera dama Betty Ford

Portrait of First Lady Betty Ford
Portrait of First Lady Betty Ford by Everett Raymond Kinstler, 1996
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Everett Raymond Kinstler; © 1996 Everett Raymond Kinstler

First Lady Michelle Obama

la primera dama Michelle Obama

Portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama
Portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald, 2018 Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (2018) by Amy Sherald. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The National Portrait Gallery is grateful to the following lead donors for their support of the Obama portraits: Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg; Judith Kern and Kent Whealy; Tommie L. Pegues and Donald A. Capoccia.
Cattleya Michelle Obama
Cattleya Michelle Obama
Courtesy Arthur Chadwick
Cattleya Martha Stewart ‘Waldor’
Cattleya Martha Stewart ‘Waldor’
Courtesy Arthur Chadwick

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart
Portrait of Martha Stewart by William Abranowicz, 2005 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of William Abranowicz