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

Flowers Similar to Orchids

By Mary Francis ; Updated September 21, 2017
Toad lily is a plant with flowers very similar to some species of orchid.
tricyrtis toad lily image by Jan Ebling from Fotolia.com

Orchids are tropical flowers from one of the most diverse plant families on earth. With 750 to 100 genera and 18,000 to 20,000 species, and distributed worldwide, is it any wonder they are such popular flowers and prized by collectors? Orchid flowers are as varied as the family itself, and grow as solitary flowers, in panicles, racemes or spikes. As varied as they are, it is not surprising that there are other plants with orchid-like flowers. You don't have to live in the tropics to have flowers similar to orchids in your landscape.


Roscoea ("Roscoea" sp.) is a member of the ginger family native to the Himalayan mountains of southern China and northern Vietnam. Shoots appear in the late spring, and pale blue, purple or white orchid-like flowers bloom over tall, blade-like leaves in late summer. Plants grow to 15 inches tall and like partial shade and moist soil. Propagation is by division of rhizomes in the spring. Roscoea can withstand temperatures from 16 degrees F to 92 degrees F.


Angelonia ("Angelonia angustifolia") is an erect perennial plant whose foliage is reported by some to smell like ripe apples. Angelonia bears 1-inch orchid-like blooms on spikes in colors of rose, lilac and blue. Angelonia blooms over a four- to six-week period during the summer in temperate climates.

Toad Lily

Toad lily ("Tricyrtis formosana") is hardy from zones 4 to 9, and is a herbaceous perennial that blooms in August and September. Toad lily grows to 2 feet in height. The orchid-like flowers are white with red-purple spots and yellow throats. These low-maintenance beauties like full to partial shade and medium to wet soil.


About the Author


Mary Francis is a horticulturist and expert garden writer with more than 15 years experience in the field. With degrees in both horticulture and business management, she has owned her own greenhouse business, an office organization business and now works full-time as a professional writer.