Ecuador is one of the best places to study orchids because in a small area they are found in their natural state in the four regions: Coast, Andes, Amazon, and even in the Galapagos Islands.
Ecuador has more than 4,200 known orchid species of which 1,301 are endemic; however, there are many more waiting to be recognized. These beautiful plants can be found throughout the country. Here are some of the best places to admire them.
The cloud forest of Mindo. It offers an impressive variety of orchids and is located only two hours from Quito, the capital of Ecuador. In addition, you can visit the Orchid Garden located in front of the city’s stadium.
The popularity of orchids has generated interest from several entrepreneurs to venture into this attractive market where there are several opportunities for return on investment. Ecuador offers ecosystems suitable for orchid cultivation and production.
Our country was recently declared the “Country of Orchids” due to the great diversity of these plants in our territory. Approximately 4,032 species of orchids are found in our country, of which 1,714 species are endemic.
In Ecuador we have approximately 4500 species, they are very easy to find, of every 4 plants that we find one is an orchid; and in the rest of the world of every 10 plants, one is an orchid. This is why Ecuador is considered the country of orchids.
The term orchid comes from the word orchis meaning testicle. The ancient Greeks gave them this name based on the appearance of the thickened bulbs of terrestrial orchids.
The variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of these plants, since ancient times, has aroused great interest in humans.
The flower is the most attractive part of these plants, one of its petals, usually located in the middle part is different, larger, and more striking than the others and is called the labellum or lip.
The pollen is grouped in sticky bags, which is an advantage because they are not dispersed by the wind, but by insects or birds and to attract them they take many shapes, colors, and scents, which is why they are also known as the masters of deception.
Some of the genera available in the establishment are Epidendrum, Dracula, Masdevallia, Vanilla, Pleurothallis, Ada, Anguloa, Gongora, Oncidium, Huntleya, and more.
Mindo, the oldest rural parish in the province of Pichincha, has a Cloud Forest typical of the Andean Choco or Western Cordillera, for each square kilometer there are 1200 to 1500 species of plants, of this total there are about 400 species of orchids of different sizes because to observe some of these species you need a magnifying glass as there are orchids from 2 millimeters and others up to 30 centimeters. Orchids have positioned themselves as a fundamental part of nature tourism during the last years, they have existed for 65 million years being the most valued species in the world, the unique characteristics and the curious form of their flowers call the attention that the tourist wants to observe this species, each species has a time in which it blooms in abundance.
Within Mindo there are several orchid gardens known as orchidariums, these are private sites that have been created to protect, cultivate and reproduce these species that are threatened by human actions. Here you can learn about each process that an orchid goes through such as flowering, pollination, seed maturation, collection, cultivation, and maintenance of this species