Orchids are plants that belong to the family Orchidaceae, a diverse and widespread group of flowering plants with blooms that are often colourful and fragrant. Along with the Asteraceae, they are one of the two largest families of flowering plants.

However, botanists generally agree that one feature above all others defines the orchid and differentiates it from virtually all other flowering plants: the fusion of the male portion of the flower (stamen) and female portion (pistil) into one structure called the column—often visible protruding from the center