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Learn About Ecuador’s Orchids (Number of Species, Where to Find Them…)

If you like orchids, you’re going to love visiting Ecuador! In this post, you’ll learn about Ecuador’s orchids.

Ecuador orchids

Photo via GringosAbroad

Ecuador is famous for its flowers – especially roses and orchids. The orchids grow high in the Andes, on the coast, and in Ecuador’s Amazon jungle.

How many species of orchids in Ecuador?

Ecuador has 4,032 classified species with an additional 400 species in the process of being classified. Of the 4,032 species, 1,714 are endemic to Ecuador.

Where to Find Ecuador Orchids

Because of their abundance, orchids are easy to find around the country. Many visitors also like to tour gardens and greenhouses because of the variety.

Some of these include:

  1. Quito Botanical Gardens
  2. El Pahuma Orchid Reserve
  3. Quijos Valley
  4. San Isidro Reserve
  5. Local Flower Farms
  6. Cuenca Orchidarium
  7. Ecuagenera: More on Ecuagenera below.

On our Orchids and Flowers of Ecuador tour (11 days / 10 nights) you will see thousands of species as we travel to orchid farms, botanical gardens and flower reserves.

Ecuagenera: Ecuador’s Orchid Specialist

Ecuagenera is headquartered in Gualaceo – a small town outside of the city of Cuenca. While they have 7 other locations in Ecuador (Cuenca, Guayaquil, Zamora Chinchipe, Quito), you’ll want to visit their Gualaceo location.

Ecuagenera exports more than 8000 varieties of orchids. Their location in the Andes is ideal for growing orchids – at 2250 meters above sea level. If there a species you’re looking for, they likely have it – including the most difficult to find varieties.

Here’s a brief video overview of orchids here in Ecuador – produced by the Ministry of Tourism.

Ecuador: Country of Orchids

Watch on YouTube

Orchids in Cuenca

In Cuenca, there is an orchidarium (orquideario) run by a local university. It isn’t fancy but there are lots of orchids to see. This is worth the trip if you are in Cuenca.

Watch on YouTube

An Ecuador Orchid You Must See

If you haven’t seen this before, you might think that the monkey faced orchid is a joke. But it is real. This orchid actually grows like this – this photo hasn’t been doctored in any way.

Monkey faced orchid Ecuador

“These rare monkey orchids only grow in the cloud forests of southeastern Ecuador and Peru at elevations of 1,000-2,000 meters on the side of mountains. In the scientific name, “simia” refers to the monkey face and “Dracula” refers to the two long spurs that hang down, almost like fangs.

What makes this flower even cooler (as if it needed to get any more awesome) is that it smells just like a ripe orange when fully blossomed. Incredible!” – via Featured Creature

Your Turn

Have a question about Ecuador orchids? What’s your favorite? Let us know and we’ll cover them in more detail in a future post.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Chris Bushman October 9, 2017, 10:08 am

    Don’t miss the World Orchid Conference in Guayaquil, November 8-12, 2017

    • Bryan Haines October 9, 2017, 1:27 pm

      Thanks Chris!


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