The species can be classified into two groups :
*A group with a long, branched inflorescence (up to 1 m long) and large, almost round flowers with rose or white tints.
*A group with short stems and less rounded, waxy flowers with more pronounced colors.
In terms of particular lifeform terminology, one can also characterize these plants as hemicryptophyte or chamerophyte :
* [[hemicryptophyte]] (abbr.: hemicr.) : biennial or perennial plants with herbaceous stems. These stems die off after the growing season, while the shoots survive at soil level. The resting buds are just above or below soil level.
* [[chamaephyte]] (abbr. cham.) : low-growing plants with herbaceous and/or woody stems, that persist for several years. Their buds are on soil level or just above; but never above 50 cm.

The genera ''Doritis'' Lindl. and ''Kingidium'' P.F.Hunt are now included in ''Phalaneopsis'', based on DNA-evidence (according to the World Checklist of Monocotyledons, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew) (See also ref 1). However this is not implicitly accepted by every specialist in this field.

Intensive cross-fertilization has produced a great number of [[Hybrid (biology)|hybrids]] in all colors and variations. These are usually more adaptable to artificial conditions than their botanical ancestors. Most are hybrids of ''Phalaenopsis amabilis'' with ''Phalaenopsis schilleriana'' or ''Phalaenopsis stuartiana''.

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