The orchid family (Orchidaceae) is one of the largest plant families on earth. Almost everywhere on earth they occur. The number of species is estimated to be at around 20,000. There are more than a thousand generations known which are devided in over dozens of subfamilies.
Orchids are known for their flowers, which sometimes may look strange. The wild flora in the Benelux has species with showy flowers. Often there are special adaptations to certain species of animals, in particular insects. Many species have declined in the twentieth century in this region. Where once many grasslands in May and June were stained by the orchids they are now often confined to nature reserves.