Did you know that Colombia has the largest number of Orchids in the world, with more than 4.000 different species and 1.543 are only found in our country? Here are more interesting facts about Colombia’s national flower
The Cattleya is the flower for which orchids are known worldwide. There are several species in Colombia, most of them endemic, but Cattleya trianae is the one most commonly found throughout the country. Cattleya trianae was named after the Colombian naturalist José Jerónimo Triana and it was selected as a National symbol by botanist Emilio Robledo.
Orchids of different colours, shapes, textures and sizes proliferate in almost the entire country, although the area of greatest population lies in the Andes, at altitudes between 1.000 and 3.000 meters.
Orchids stand out among the thousands of flowers that can be found in Colombia. Roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, lilies and Michaelmas daisies are also very popular in the country.
The flowers are produced during the winter and early spring. New growth begins shortly after flowering finishes in the early spring and continues to August, but the flower buds do not star to grow until November.
A new orchid type, Encyclia Parketri, was found in 2015 in the districts of Restrepo and La Cumbre in Valle del Cauca. Researchers had initially studied the flora of 421,000 hectares of Valle de Cauca, but this research was extended to other departments with the help of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute.
Orchids can survive up to 100 years, and its shape, size and texture of leaves depend on their habitat. Orchids that live in dry climate have thick leaves covered with wax, while species that live in warm and humid areas have thin, elongated leaves. Some species do not have leaves at all.
Each year Medellin Colombia holds a festival to celebrate the Orchids. Below are a small selection of the hundreds of photographs I took whilst visiting the festival held at the Botanical Gardens.