Orchids have fascinated people since the time of Confucius more than 2500 years ago. Orchid lore permeates Greek and Roman mythology. Wealthy Europeans of the 17th through the 19th century paid fortunes for exotic, tropical specimens. Plant explorers risked their lives finding new specimens. Found from the equator to the poles, orchids are one of the largest plant families, comprising 30,000 species. Possessing a unique flower structure, they depend on insects and fungi to reproduce. They are magnificent and mysterious, yet not difficult to grow.