A plant person, I am not, and I’m even less of a flower person. However, Ecuador is a bio-diversity hot spot, and I would be amiss if I didn’t at least check out some of Ecuador’s offering. I would also be de-friended by one of my best friends who not only has a master’s degree in plant pathology [I can’t even], but also grows orchids in one of his many home greenhouses.
Whilst in Ecuador I went to not only the Orchidarium in Cuenca, but also the Mindo Cloud forest about an hour north of Quito, and my favorite flower by far is the monkey faced orchid. I’m sure it has a fancy scientific name, but I like the monkey face name.
See that cute little monkey face. Talk about a flower with personality! And when it’s in full bloom, it smell like an orange. How perfect! These orchids grow in the cloud forests of Ecuador and Peru at 1000 to 2000 meters above sea level. The monkey faced orchid (along with all tropical orchids) is an epiphyte so, like an air plant, it depends on other plants for support.
Below are some of my favorite orchids from both the cloud forest and the orchidarium.