Land of Over 1,000 Orchids

Wild orchids at Boca Chica
Wild orchids at Boca Chica

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Panama has over 1000 species of wild orchids. They vary from spectacular large orchids to orchids that are smaller than the fingernail of your little finger. The ones in the picture were growing wild on a tree next to the beach at our place in Boca Chica.

The first time I ever visted Costa Rica, long before we discovered Panama, I expected that in the rain forest I would see orchids everywhere . . . with 1000 species, who wouldn’t? But orchid life is much more subtle. You have to look . . . sometimes high up on branches of big trees. Many of the orchids are tiny. And orchids don’t bloom year round. But once you get accustomed to “orchid life” you start finding them everywhere. Often when trees are being cut down folks will rescue orchids from the branches. We have a number we’ve stuck on trees around our home.
don’t bloom year round. But once you get accustomed to “orchid life” you start finding them everywhere. Often when trees are being cut down folks will rescue orchids from the branches. We have a number we’ve stuck on trees around our home. As they bloom I’ll try and share them with you.

Not all wild orchids are “showy”…

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On the other side of the mountain up in Cero Punta there is a world famous orchid farm named Dracula. It is named after a famous night blooming orchid that grows locally. At Dracula they not only propagate Panamanian orchids but they go all over Central and Latin America rescuing orchids and propagating endangered orchids, eventually returning mature plants to their native habitats. At Dracula, depending on the season, you can see many of the more “showy” orchids in bloom.

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