How to Judge Orchids



The flower should be laterally symmetrical in form. The segments should be broad for the species or hybrid, and free from furling, reflexing and other distortions, unless this is the nature of the kind.


The size of the flower is to be measured across the horizontal natural spread of the flower, without any manipulation


The flowers should be of good substance, firm and fresh.

Colour & Texture

Should be clear, glistening and well defined, with regard to what can be reasonably expected for the kind. The texture should be lustrous and without blemish.

Stem Habit & Arrangement

Flowers should be well displayed on an adequate, self-supporting inflorescence, according to the genus’s habit.

Flower Selection

If the plant has more than one flower, then a flower with the best general appearance shall be selected for measurement of size and determination of shape, colour and texture, substance, provided that the other flowers are of a relatively even and comparable standard. The stem on which this flower occurs shall be judged for habit and arrangement of the inflorescence.


Should be of good size for the species or within the range of what could be
reasonably expected from the hybrid’s parents.


The number of flowers carried on the inflorescence(s) and their pattern of opening shall be commensurate with the breeding lines of the plant, and the minimum number should be commensurate with that of the parents and comply with the required flower count.

The above judging criteria and comments have been provided for the purpose of education and do not represent the views, opinions or position of judges, officials or the RA&HS. Any resemblance to actual persons, competitors, or exhibits living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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