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The national flower of Venezuela is the orchid. It’s considered one of the countries where the greatest diversity of the Cattleya orchid species is found. There are about 1,500 species of orchids in general.
Orchids belong to the Orchidaceae family, with around 30,000 species that form it around the world and they have, depending on their species, habitat diversity. In Venezuela they can be found at levels as high as 1,800 meters above sea level in the Andean páramos as well as in arid and desert or mountainous areas.
We also have a diversity of species that are terrestrial, that is, they are born and grow on the earth. Many are epiphytes because they need a tree to survive. There are also the hybrid species that are only grown in greenhouses.
The species of orchid that represents our national symbol is the Cattleya Mossiae orchid. After spending a few years discussing what our national flower would be, on May 23, 1951 this orchid was selected as the national flower, for its exuberant beauty as well as other important qualities that stand out from this orchid. This name was given to the orchid thanks to a botanist in the 19th century who highlighted the fact that William Cattley was the one who cultivated it for the first time in 1818.
The orchid is for us a national symbol, the one that most represents us being of purple color or the May Flower. One of the celebration parties in Venezuela is the Cruz de Mayo, people used to adorn the cross with these orchids, hence the Cattleya Mossiae orchid being called the Cruz de Mayo orchid. In short, the orchid is so widely distributed in the country that there’s no one who doesn’t know about it and it’s very rare that an orchid plant of any species is missing in our houses, in a tree or in a pot.
On May 23 in all Venezuelan cities there is an evocation of this custom, of decorating the May Crosses. In many places they keep the orchid for decoration but in others they no longer decorate with the Cattleya but instead use many other flowers. In schools and public offices you can always see the drawings of this splendid flower, a national ornamental symbol.
Other common orchid species are the Spathoglotys and are grown on land. They are very easy to maintain. The best way to do so is to be attentive to the climatic conditions that are favorable to you and they will respond with their greatest beauty in their flowering. Generally they should be in a place where the sunlight reaches indirectly, the coloring of the leaves will in itself give the need or not for adequate sun exposure.
In my case I have three different species waiting for their flowering, especially the Cattleya, this epiphytic orchid grows on pieces of crushed logs and two other species, the Phalaenopsis that already flowered last year, so this year I hope to once again delight myself with its color as well as the fragrance that comes out of its bouquets of flowers. It goes without saying that it is for the months of April and May when the Cattleya Mosiae or Cruz de Mayo orchid blooms.
Epathoglottis that need direct sunlight and abundant watering are also in pots, they bloom all the time in their pots.
Orchids are not difficult to preserve and maintain. It’s necessary to be aware of observing the plant and seeing the color in the leaves, the aerial roots must be observed, the multiplication of its bulbs, the growth or numbness of its growth. All this must be seen to know if the plant is responding well to the environmental conditions that we offer.