Ecuador, the first “Country of Orchids” in the world, orchids, due to their beauty and elegance, are the oldest and most valued plants in the world; its existence dates back 65 million years. If you want to see hundreds of orchids bloom at any time of the year, the best place to find them is Ecuador, since it has more than 4,000 species of orchids. Ecuador is located within its four natural regions and offers hundreds of different microclimates. Thousands of different species of orchids can be seen from sea level to the edge of glaciers or the edge of the flooded Amazon through semi-desert Andean canyons to the world’s wettest cloud forests.
In general, they live on trees where they capture heat, light and air. Some grow on mossy rocks, and others on the ground, they have shapes, colors and aromas that make them enigmatic plants and research subjects. Its floral richness arouses the interest of scientists from different latitudes, who travel throughout the year to observe orchids and deepen their knowledge.
Great care is needed as they take a long time to bloom (more than three years). In our country, orchids can bloom at any time of the year, especially during the rainy season. However, there are always some species in flower that have adapted to pollinators who prefer the drier season, and require a lot of care because they are high-priced flowers, since the Ecuadorian orchid is among the 20 most exported flowers in the country. The main buyers are the United States 50% and Germany 30%, for its beauty and elegance.
Did you know that in Ecuador there is the Dracula orchid?
The Dracula orchid, also called monkey face orchid, as its name indicates, has the appearance of a monkey’s face and usually has a white or reddish color, it is an epiphytic plant with long-tailed flowers. The variety of orchids in Ecuador is due, in part, to the plurality of ecosystems that the country has. Another very important factor is that Ecuador has the Andes mountain range since the presence of the mountain range throughout a tropical country like Ecuador increases the diversity of environments that favor the development of biodiversity. Likewise, the altitude gradient of the mountain range imposes climatic strata that are the habitat of many species.
In medicine, orchids are documented by Hernández and Sahagún to cure dysentery, cough, to “temper the heat” of the stomach, for poor digestion, infected wounds, hemorrhages, headaches, as well as anti-inflammatory and fever reliever.
The ability that some orchids have for the changes they adopt in their colors to attract insects is also very curious. This has to do with the fact that orchids lack nectar. It could therefore be said that orchids use visual tricks to deceive insects (as well as other pollinators) and thus attract them to their flowers.
As already explained, the variety of orchids is very large, in such a way that there are orchids of very different colors and therefore, with different meanings. Depending on the color, we can use them with use or another. Next, we tell you the meanings of each orchid and its color:
Purple orchid: symbol of justice, prudence and wisdom.
Blue orchid: represents peace and harmony.
Pink orchid: declaration of love (both couples and family).
Green orchid: represents nature and its freshness, as well as hope.
White orchid: symbol of sophistication and purity.
Red orchid: they represent the mixture of love and passion between two people.
Yellow orchid: represents eroticism and the opposite of pure love.
Some orchids from Ecuador
Its common name is Dancing Orchid, it has a stem with linear to lanceolate leaves, it lives in humid forests. They have terminal inflorescences with a clustered set of floral bracts, which are tubular with a lip that is larger than the sepals that have a concave base that contains one or two pollinia that leads to a column that has eight purple pollinia.
Orchid with white flowers spotted with reddish brown. The presence of three species of the genus Paphinia in the same ecosystem suggests that their pollinators, the male Euglossini bees, participate in a special way in maintaining the survival of the species.
Epiphytic plant, the inflorescence successively emits a single flower in a cluster on a peduncle that is larger than the leaves. The petals are small and membranous. The column is elongated and contains two pollinia.
This orchid not only has an ornamental use, it also serves as a medicinal plant for coughs, to “temper the heat” of the stomach, for poor digestion, infected wounds, hemorrhages, headaches, as well as anti-inflammatory and fever reliever.
They are small epiphytes, with a creeping rhizome, covered by short tubular sheaths that produce fibrous roots; stems short and spaced up to 25 mm apart, covered with imbricate and infundibuliform sheaths, 1-foliate. Leaf elliptic, 25 mm long and 10 mm wide, acute, apex 3-toothed; short petiole.
This genus is characterized by the appearance of plants with leaves arranged in a fan. The leaves of a size of 10 to 15 cm are tightly arranged. The cream-colored flowers have mild fragrances and develop horizontally from the axils of the leaf-sheaths.
It grows as an epiphyte in cloudy forests with a high presence of humidity at altitudes of 3,000 meters above sea level. It is a suitable plant for cultivation in terrariums and tolerates temperatures between 9 oC and 20 oC with 50% shade and high relative humidity.