Phalaenopsis

Native: a genus of approximately 60 species native throughout southeast Asia from the Himalayan mountains to the islands of Polillo, Palawan and Zamboanga del Norte in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines and northern Australia
Type: most are epiphytic shade plants; a few are lithophytes;
some species grow below the canopies of moist and humid lowland forests, protected against direct sunlight;
others grow in seasonally dry or cool environments; adapted individually to these three habitats
Size: flowers range in size from ¾ in. to nearly 5 in. in diameter
Flowering: The flowers bloom in their full glory for several weeks. If kept in the home, the flowers may last two to three months.
Colors: Intensive cross-fertilization has produced a great number of hybrids in all colors and variations. Candy-striped orchids have striking two-toned striped patterns. Harlequins feature random spotting patterns on white or yellow petals and sepals. The labellums or lips often are presented in a contrasting color.
Flowering stem: the inflorescence, either a raceme or panicle, appears from the stem between the leaves;
the first sign is a light green "mitten-like" object that protrudes from the leaf tissue;
in about three months, the spike elongates until it begins to swell fat buds which will bloom
Growth pattern: monopodial; a single growing stem produces one or two alternate, thick, fleshy, elliptical leaves a year from the top while the older, basal leaves drop off at the same rate
Pseudobulb: possessing neither pseudobulbs nor rhizome, this orchid shows a monopodial growth habit
Roots: roots are quite thick, and the green point at the ends signifies that the root is actively growing
Known for: are among the most popular orchids sold as potted plants owing to the ease of propagation and flowering under artificial conditions;
resemblance in some species to moths is flight, so given common name of Moth Orchid;
its variety of colors and variations
History: among the first tropical orchids in Victorian collections;
name means "Phalaen[a]-like" and is probably a reference to the genus Phalaena, the name given by Carl Linnaeus to a group of large moths
   
Phalaenopsis

Parts of a Phalaenopsis flower:

Sepals: Dorsal and Lateral Sepals


Phalaenopsis

Detail of flower's center shows the beak-like rostellum.