20 Elegant White Orchids (with Pictures)

white orchid types

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Orchids with white blooms are some of the most sought-after plants to add elegance to the indoor space.

In this article, we found 20 white orchids from the main orchid families, including phalaenopsis, dendrobium, cattleya, and oncidium.

Save this post to find your favorite to add to your collection.

1. Moon Orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis)

The Moon Orchid is one of the most popular white orchids.  It has pure white, creamy blooms with yellow labellums that measure between 2.5 – 3 inches (6 – 8 cm) wide.

The plant can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall, and flowers throughout the spring, summer, and fall – especially in warmer climates such as New Guinea, to which the Moon Orchid is native. 

Moon Orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis)
Moon Orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis)
(Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

2. Cattleya intermedia alba

Native to Brazil, Cattleya intermedia alba has showy pure white flowers that measure 4 inches (10 cm) across and bloom in clusters of 2 or 3 flowers per stem.
It blooms in spring and summer and has a delicately sweet fragrance.
It grows better in a spot with morning and afternoon sun, although not midday sun.

Cattleya intermedia alba
Cattleya intermedia alba
(cultivar413, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

3. Pure Silk (Phalaenopsis elastica)

Pure Silk is a hybrid between Phalaenopsis Hampshire Silk and Phalaenopsis Windsor Purity. 

Pure Silk is named for its large, snow-white blossoms that span 3 – 4 inches (8-10 cm) wide.

This orchid species has multiple flower spikes with several blooms at once.

The overall average height of Pure Silk is 25 inches (64 cm). 

4. White Egret Orchid (Habenaria radiata)

With its two fringed petals that resemble feathered wings, the common name of this orchid is no surprise.

This orchid grows in clusters of between 4 – 6 flowers with pure white blossoms that measure about 1.5 inches (4 cm) in width.

The orchid grows between 12 – 18 inches (30 – 46 cm) tall and flowers in the late summer for about 4 weeks. 

The White Egret Orchid is native to cooler climates in Asia, namely China, Japan, Korea, and even Russia. It is found growing near bodies of water such as riverbanks, lakes, ponds, and bogs.

White Egret Orchid (Habenaria radiata)
White Egret Orchid (Habenaria radiata)
(sunoochi from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons) / (Alpsdake, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

5. Dancing Lady Orchid (Oncidium Twinkle)

The Oncidium Twinkle blooms from long branching inflorescences with ruffled, creamy white petals surrounding a peach center, that resemble flowy ball gowns.

The vanilla-scented blossoms bloom in abundant clusters and each are small, growing 1 – 3 inches (2.5 – 7.6 cm) wide. The plant can grow between 10 – 12 inches (25 – 30 cm) tall. 

It is a cross between Oncidium cheirophorum and Oncidium sotoanum.

Dancing Lady Orchid (Oncidium Twinkle)
Dancing Lady Orchid (Oncidium Twinkle)
(Maja Dumat from Deutschland (Germany), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

6. Sogo (Phalaenopsis stuartiana

This eye-catching species of moth orchid has mostly white petals speckled with purple, with the lower petals and lip of the plant gold and purple.

The flowers are large and bloom in clusters, each being 2 – 4 inches (4 – 10 cm) wide.

It has variegated leaves and can reach a height of 3 feet (90 cm). 

Sogo blooms during the winter and spring. 

Sogo (Phalaenopsis stuartiana)
Sogo (Phalaenopsis stuartiana)
(sunoochi from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

7. Phantom Orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae)

Also called the Snow Orchid, the Phantom Orchid is named for its pure white color.

This orchid has no leaves; rather, the cup-shaped blossoms grow in vertical clusters along a white bract that surrounds the white stem. Up to 25 flowers can grow on a single flower stem. 

The Phantom Orchid is white because it lacks chlorophyll. This unusual feature indicates a symbiotic relationship between the orchid and local fungi for nutrients. 

It is unique from other orchids in that it is native to the Pacific Northwest in the United States, growing from California upwards into British Columbia, Canada.

Phantom Orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae)
Phantom Orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae)
(sramey, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

8. Pigeon Orchid (Dendrobium crumenatum)

Named for the shape of its buds, which resemble a white pigeon perched on a branch, the Pigeon Orchid has a long growing season and blooms throughout the winter, spring, and summer.

Each flower is between 1.5 – 2 inches (4-5 cm) wide, with between 4 – 19 flowers blooming at once on the inflorescence. 

It can grow up to 12 inches (53 cm) in height. 

Thunderstorm Orchid (Dendrobium crumenatum)
Thunderstorm Orchid (Dendrobium crumenatum)
(Roby at Indonesian Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

9. White Fringed Orchid (Platanthera blephariglottis)

The White Fringed Orchid is named for the shape of its fringed snowy white blooms

A single stalk can hold upwards between 20 – 50 blossoms at one time.

It does not have many leaves, with only 2 or 3 leaves on each stem. 

The White Fringed Orchid blooms throughout the spring and summer and grows an average of 6 – 10 inches (15 – 25 cm) tall.

White Fringed Orchid (Platanthera blephariglottis)
White Fringed Orchid (Platanthera blephariglottis)
(NC Orchid from North Carolina, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

10. Queen’s Lady Slipper (Cypripedium reginae)

This terrestrial orchid is called Queen’s Lady Slipper because of its pouch-like shape.  It has white petals and a pink pouched labellum.

Also called the pink-and-white Lady’s Slipper, this orchid reaches a height of 3 feet (90cm) and has between 1 and 3 blooms per stem. The flowers are about 2 inches (5 cm) long and bloom during the late spring and early summer. 

This rare orchid is native to North America and is the state flower of Minnesota. 

Queen's Lady Slipper (Cypripedium reginae)
Queen’s Lady Slipper (Cypripedium reginae)
(sunoochi from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

11. Tovar Masdevallia (Masdevallia tovarensis)

The unique flowers of this unusual orchid are shaped like a teardrop, with a single long tendril sprouting from the top and two prongs from the bottom. It blooms during the fall and winter. 

The plant grows on average 7 inches (18 cm) tall, with flowers about 3 inches (8 cm) wide.

The Tovar Masdevallia tolerates colder temperatures and less sun than most other orchid species, making it an ideal houseplant for those who live in cold, cloudy climates. 

Tovar Masdevallia (Masdevallia tovarensis)
Tovar Masdevallia (Masdevallia tovarensis)
(Orchi, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

12. Wind Orchid (Vanda falcata)

This popular Japanese houseplant is also called the Samurai Orchid or Shogun Orchid, due to legends that samurai would collect these orchids from the mountains in the 1600s.

It is a small species that grows only 6 inches (15 cm) tall. 

A vanda species, the Wind Orchid ranges from snowy white to purple. Each of the small blossoms have long nectar spurs that curve from the back of the small, delicate blooms, giving the flowers a width of 2 – 3 inches (5- 7 cm). The Wind Orchid blooms continually for about two months during the summer and has a subtle fragrance reminiscent of jasmine. 

Vanda falcata
Wind Orchid (Vanda falcata)
(snotch from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

13. Holy Ghost Orchid (Peristeria elata)

This unusual orchid, with its bowl-shaped blooms, is also called the Dove Orchid.

The labellums are subtly speckled with purple, with each flower measuring 1.5 inches (4 cm) wide. The plant can grow between 2 – 3 feet (60 – 90 cm) tall, making it one of the tallest orchid species on our list. 

The Holy Ghost Orchid blooms during the spring and have a strong, sweet fragrance. 

Holy Ghost Orchid (Peristeria elata)
Holy Ghost Orchid (Peristeria elata)
(Orchi, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

14. White Fringeless Orchid (Platanthera integrilabia)

With unusual pronged blooms, each flower has three distinct petals, and up to 20 flowers can bloom at once along its inflorescence.

The average height of the plant is 20 – 32 inches (51 – 81 cm).

The White Fringeless Orchid is native to the woodlands and bogs in the Southeastern U.S. and has a short blooming season, only flowering through the late summer. 

 White Fringeless Orchid (Platanthera integrilabia)
 White Fringeless Orchid (Platanthera integrilabia)
(Barnes Dr Thomas G, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

15. Christmas Orchid (Cattleya trianae)

This orchid has large, white and fuchsia flowers that grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) wide.

It blooms throughout the year in the right conditions and grows to an average height of 18 to 24 inches (46 – 61 cm). 

Christmas Orchid (Cattleya trianae)
Christmas Orchid (Cattleya trianae)
(sunoochi from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

16. Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha)

Named for its shape, the Greater Butterfly Orchid is native to Europe and has unusual, pronged blooms.

The flowers are white with a subtle green tint, each growing about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and the overall plant growing up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall.

Each stalk can hold up to 10 – 40 blooms at a time, flowering during the spring and summer. 

Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha)
Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha)
(Björn S…, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

17. Blue Vanda (Vanda coerulea)

Despite the name of this orchid, the showy blooms of the Blue Vanda are often white with shadowy blue accents.

Each of its five similarly shaped petals are faintly accented with blue and surrounds a velvety blue center, where the color is more concentrated. 

Keep in mind that Blue Vandas come in different shades of blue, with some plants appearing white with subtle hints of blue with others vibrant blue or purple. 

Like all vanda orchids, the Blue Vanda is native to the jungles of Northeast India.

18. Great Plains White Fringed Orchid (Platanthera praeclara)

True to its name, this feathered orchid is native to the Great Plains region of the United States. It’s also known as the Western Plains Fringed Orchid due to it being prevalent in the western US and Canada. 

The blossoms are white, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, and have a subtle freckled cream color inside the mouth.

The Great Plains White Fringed Orchid is a large species, growing on vertical stalks up to 4 feet (120 cm) tall. It blooms during the summer. 

Great Plains White Fringed Orchid (Platanthera praeclara)
Great Plains White Fringed Orchid (Platanthera praeclara)
(National Park Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

19. Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthera leucophaea)

Almost identical in appearance to the Great Plains Fringed Orchid, this species with its feathery white blooms is native to the Eastern US and blooms during the summer months.

The flowers are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and bloom on stalks between 8 – 40 inches (20 – 101 cm) tall. 

Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthera leucophaea)
Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthera leucophaea)
(Joshua Mayer from Madison, WI, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

20. Bog Candle (Platanthera dilatata)

Named for its white, waxy blooms and the way it grows near bogs and swamps, the Bog Candle is native to North America and has tall spurs along which the small white flowers grow in vertical clusters. 

Each of the flowers has three petals that grow in spurs around the small lip.

This orchid grows between 6 – 36 inches (15 – 91 cm) tall and blooms throughout the spring and summer. 


16 Cute Mini Phalaenopsis for Small Space

20 Miniature Cattleyas with Large Blooms

46 Common Orchids as Houseplants

Featured photo credits: Elena Gaillard from New York, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Carol Chung
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