Entering the World of Orchids

In late February we visited an exhibition of the Venezuelan Fundation for the Cultivation of Orchids (FUNCOR).  The best creations of the flower growers were awarded. It was the first time for me to see orchids in such a variety.


The orchid above and the featured image are examples of the Cattleya Massiae or “Flor de Mayo”.  This orchid was declared the National Flower of Venezuela in 1951.


In the early 1800´s the English botanist William Cattley found an orchid that had been used as packing material for other plants shipped form South American jungles. He cared for it until it flowered with an exquisite bloom that caused a sensation throughout Europe. That is why this orchid was later named Cattleya in his honor.

Because of it´s caribean coastline, the andean part in the west  and the south the highlands and the amazonian basin Venezuela has a huge variety of orchids.

petare-4petare-20I am a real amateur when it comes to flowers. By looking at the pictures I tried to classify the orchids and post them in groups. This was not possible in every case. But this post is not a botanic lesson but only wants to show the variety.

The following pictures should belong to the group of Pahiopedilum. This orchid is frequently referred to as a “Paph”, and characterized by their long-lasting, fascinating lady-slippers. They are originally from Southern Asia.


petare-7petare-11The next type I might have identified looking at some special sites is called Phalaenopis. This orchid is frequently referred to as a “Phal” or a “Moth Orchid.” They are popular and easy to grow. Happy Phals can continue to bloom for months. They can be grown under fluorescent lights. Many come in whites, pinks, purples, yellows, and reds. Phalaenopsis can be crossbred with closely related orchids to create hybrids. I am impressed by the different colours these orchids can take.

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This is a very special one. It is called “Amo Honduras” and the national flower of Honduras.

petare-12This contest was of course all about the different hybrid orchids which had been created by the growers here in Venezuela. Orchids account for about 8 % of all flowers worldwide and their beauty has made them  to a world wide business.

The rest of the orchids I found interested to post vary in size, shape and structure. Here I do not dare to try a classification. But for sure I will further explore this world also in real nature on my trips through Venezuela in the future.

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