Orchidaceae constitutes one of the largest families in angiosperms. The versatility and specialization in orchid floral morphology, scent and colour patterns endear orchidologists and plant biologists to orchid plants. Moreover, the co-evolution of the sophisticated orchid floral presentation and pollinators leads to the ingenious device of the orchid flower. Because of market needs and the current level of breeding technologies, the industry for biotech seedling products of Phalaenopsis spp. in Taiwan is currently focussed on the development of orchid species. Research into the molecular regulatory mechanism of floral development, scent production and colour presentation can undoubtedly enhance the understanding of orchid floral biology. Owing to advances in genomics and functional genomics, such as karyotypes, expressed sequence tags, bacterial artificial chromosomes and molecular markers, the isolation and identification of orchid floral genes has been increased rapidly. Orchid floral development was revealed to involve MADS-box-containing transcriptional regulators. The modified 'ABCDE model' of duplication and diversification of MADS-box genes has been proposed as a major driving force behind orchid floral organ identities. The scent biosynthesis pathway in the Phalaenopsis bellina flower was unravelled and found to be controlled by geraniol and linalool metabolism. Further interest has been promoted by the recent expansion of studies of orchid floral molecular biology. This information will provide broad scope for study of orchid floral development and serves as a starting point for uncovering the mystery of orchid evolution.