Botanical Nerd Word: Keiki

Orchid flower stem showing a keiki formed at one of the nodes

Keiki: A Hawaiian word referring to a baby plant produced asexually by an orchid plant.*

Keikis sometimes form at the nodes on the flowering stems of some orchids. They are an exact clone of the parent plant. Growers sometimes encourage this form of propagation by using keiki paste, a topical hormone which induces the plant to produce keikis.

*Allikas, G. & Nash, N. (2000). Orchids. London: PRC.