The great orchid varieties that exist in the world are so diverse that there are around 25 thousand species, of which Mexico is home to 300 endemic ones. As a curious fact, these plants are one of the oldest on the planet since the most ancient remains found date back to the dinosaur era.
Likewise, these fantastic plants are characterized to be quite different from each other; some of them are of great size, color, texture, and curious shapes. In addition, some species look like bees, butterflies, spiders, etc., creating a very unique diversity.
However heir incredible attractiveness makes them highly valued and insensitively harvested. For this reason, they’re one of the most endangered groups of plants in the world.
Why are Orchids so fascinating?
In addition to their dazzling beauty, orchids call attention because of their pollination systems. Their reproduction is comparable to some adaptive aspects of the animal kingdom.
Orchids hang from trees, and shrubs also prosper on moss-covered stones or grow majestically on roots where they absorb nutrients released by plant debris.
Another fascinating aspect is that they hardly ever generate natural hybrids due to their genetic incompatibility. In addition, they are of high economic importance, for example, in horticulture, floristry, essences, and the pharmaceutical industry.
Orchid varieties in Pre-Hispanic Cultures
During the pre-Hispanic period, great varieties of orchids were well known. They were admired for the beauty and usefulness of their roots because they have healing properties, used for the treatment of dysentery, infected lesions even sexual impotence.
However, this wasn’t their only use; for example, through them, they obtained the Tzacuhtli, a glue used in feather art. Some notable species are Encyclia citrina endemic from Mexico that blooms during Easter, Laelia speciosa, attractive for its flowers up to 10 cm wide, Orchid M. xerophyticum that grows only in Oaxaca.
Nevertheless, the most important orchid in the pre-Hispanic cultures was Tlilxochitl or vanilla, which was mainly used to prepare a delicious drink that fortifies the soul and is very popular nowadays; the Chocolate.
However, after the fall of the Aztec Empire, the appreciation for orchids became higher; in the century XIX, the plundering of American forests intensified to obtain the desired flower.
Sleep in the middle of the largest tropical jungle in Mexicoand wake up with the harmonious singing of birds. Located in the Calakmul region, this place offers you orchid varieties and bird watching, hiking, and camping, where you will enjoy the most spectacular sunsets.
In the south of the Yucatan Peninsula, you will find the largest tropical forest in Mexico, declared a natural reserve by UNESCO. It has a large diversity of birds and flora and is located in the middle of Mayan ruins. Therefore, you can do bird watching, visit archaeological sites, hike, camp, and do many other activities.
Situated in the highest part of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, enveloped by a blanket of fog, is found El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, home to one of the most spectacular ecosystems in Mexico.
A place inhabited by impressive trees that reach enormous heights, whose branches are covered with lichens, mosses, bromeliads, and immense orchids varieties giving the allusion of hanging gardens.
At this site, you will participate in the workshop on handicrafts and jewelry sustainably made with orchids. In addition, you will taste typical food of the region and learn about the coffee production processes.
A cooperative formed by enterprising women will take you to visit Punta Allen in different transport. First, we will travel through the impressive trails of Sian Ka’an.While you get in touch with nature, you will learn about the richness of the ecosystems of Sian Ka’an, always accompanied by a certified guide.
It is undeniable that orchids are as fascinating as charming, maintaining a complex life cycle with new research studies.
Come, visit and learn about its great importance in the world while enjoying dreamy landscapes.