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Orchids 101: The biology behind these elegant flowers

Peloric Phalaenopsis equestris

Photo: Anna Norris

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Regular is irregular

Every now and then, orchids come out looking a little more, well, normal than usual. Typical orchids are bilateral, with symmetry much like human faces, while other flowers are more symmetric. Peloric orchids are those that attempt to become more symmetrical, usually because of a genetic malfunction. But the results can be beautiful, like the peloric Phalaenopsis equestris shown here.