One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large genus of epiphytic orchids native to tropical Asia (especially Malaysia), the East Indies, and Northern Australia, and including many grown for ornament; (also phalaenopsis) an orchid of this genus, also called "moth orchid".
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in John Lindley (1799–1865), botanist and horticulturist. From scientific Latin Phalaenopsis, genus name from post-classical Latin phalaena + -opsis.
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