University of Florida

Plant Identification Learning Module:
Flowers and Foliage

Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis spp.)

Phalaenopsis produce long arching sprays of white or pink flowers resembling moths in flight, which explains the common name "Moth orchid." A Phalaenopsis produces one or two new thick, alternate, ovate, leathery leaves a year. The older leaves drop off at the same rate. A leaf may be from 12 to 24 inches in length, depending on the cultivar. Inflorescences of 10 to 20 flowers with five petals, and from two to four inches in diameter, vary from white, pink, yellow, orange, peppermint striped and two-toned varieties.