Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Monocots Order:Asparagales Family:Orchidaceae All orchids are perennial herbs and lack any permanent woody structure. Orchids can grow according to two patterns: Monopodial: The stems grows from a single bud, leaves are added from the apex each year and the stem grows longer accordingly. The stem of orchids with a monopodial growth can reach several metres in length, as in Vanda and Vanilla. Sympodial: The plant produces a series of adjacent shoots which grow to a certain size, bloom and then stop growing, to be then replaced. Sympodial orchids grow laterally rather than vertically, following the surface of their support. The growth continues by development of new leads, with their own leaves and roots, sprouting from or next to those of the previous year, as in Cattleya. While a new lead is developing, the rhizome may start its growth again from a so-called 'eye', an undeveloped bud, thereby branching.