Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Types of Purple Orchids

By D.C. Winston
Types of Purple Orchids
Orchids Offworlder, Vanda by Nancy Heise, Cattaleya by Hellen Perron, Dendrobium by Guerin Nicola, Paphiopedalum by Dalton Holland Baptista, Phalaenopsis by AtonX all: commons.wikimedia.org

The Orchidaceae genus is a vast family of flowering semi-tropical perennial plants with more than 25,000 species in existence, 100,000 hybridized cultivars and many hundreds of varietals that are commonly bred and sold commercially. Orchids bloom in a wide range of colors from crisp snow white to deep purple black and every hue in between. They can be solid in color, spotted with color, sectioned into color blocks and can have throats that contrast with the petal coloration. Many orchids are known for their beauty in the purple hues.

Vanda Orchids

Vanda orchid.

Vanda orchids bloom widely in hues of purple. The majority of vanda orchids found for sale are a bright lavender with blue undertones. Vanda orchids have a textured appearance on the petal that comes from a pale white pattern that is very crisp and appears almost geometric on some plants and softer on others.


Cattleya violacea orchid.

Cattleya orchids vary in size but bloom profusely in the purple hues. Cattleyas have a distinctive central throat in the center of the flower which can often be a paler or more intense hue of purple or deep magenta. Miniature and full-size cattleya plants and cut flowers can be found for sale in hues of very pale lavender to a rich deep violet.


Dendrobium nobile orchid.

Dendrobium orchids produce multiple blooms on long arching stems and they can be solid in color or with the petals of the blooms tinged with a contrasting color. Dendrobiums can be found in pale lavender or violet purple and also in a very deep blue black purple either in solid purple petals or commonly deep purple tipped white blooms.


Paphiopedalum barbatum orchid.

Paphiopedilum or lady slipper orchids are very sophisticated and exotic looking plants that throw a single bloom on a long dark and slightly furry stem. Lady slipper orchids flower with a deeper reddish purple to almost black purple throat and lower petal typically with a lighter throat or center coloration.


Phalaenopsis equestris orchid.

More commonly known as the moth orchid, phalaenopisis is the orchid that you most commonly see in florist shops, catalogs and grocery store floral departments. Commonly available, phalaeanopsis orchids bloom in several shades of pure and speckled purple ranging from pale lavender-pink to a very deep violet with white speckled spots, or the reverse. The purple hues of phalaenopsis tend to be warmer purple tones mixed with a bit of pink as opposed to the cooler blueish purple tones of vanda orchids.