Orchid fruits have been largely neglected in orchid research. More variable than generally imagined, orchid fruits have a basic structure that remains inadequately described and understood. Yet structure and function of orchid fruits are important for many aspects of orchid conservation and may contribute significantly to the understanding of orchid phylogeny. Carpological studies of orchids are part of the ongoing research of the monocot phylogeny research group at the University of Copenhagen. A model of the orchidaceous ovary explaining the pattern of six valves is presented here, and the "subplacental cushions" in the ovary are shown to be cords of pollen tubes.