"The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life."
~ Jean Giraudoux
Hopefully it will be helpful if you are new to growing orchids. The roots and stem form the bottom portion of our orchid plant. These absorbs and brings life needed nutrients to the plant. Sometimes, within the root system you may find the water absorption system of the orchid. These are called pseudobulbs. They are very efficient at absorbing and storing water. However not all orchids have pseudobulbs. Remember in the rain forests where some of the orchids grow the showers are usually quick.
Above the roots you will generally find a stem from which the leaves are born. The stems are quite sturdy in some orchids and are delicate in others, especially, the miniature orchids.
A healthy leaf is one that is firm, non-wrinkled, and bright green. It is not a dark green leave which usually means that the plant needs more light.
The spike is usually the bearer of the buds and eventually the flowers. Some spikes will produce one flower or cluster of flowers (e.g. Cattleya). The Phalaenopsis spike will produce flowers all along the spike in succession.
The most intricate parts of the orchid is the flower. There vary, not only in color but in shape as well. They all have the same parts but they vary as to where and the number on the orchid plant.
The sepal are usually three and they are the remnants of the orchid bud. There are generally three but some orchids may have two. The sepals are usually dorsal (back / top of the orchid) and two lateral ones.
The petals are always three in number. It is the bottom petal that is also called the "lip" or "labellum". It is here that forms a platform for the insects that pollinate orchids. It is also here where the most stunning orchid colors are. These colors will attract the pollinators. The Paphiopedilums or lady slippers have a deeper lip that almost resembles a sack.
As varied as the orchid species are you will see many different variations on the anatomy of the orchid plants.