The different varieties, techniques and applications of the orchids grown in the town of Las Minas, in the central province of Herrera in Panama, will be exhibited at the Holy Ghost Orchid fair, to exalt the beauty and tourism in that region of the country, informed an official source today.
The event, which is named after a delicate orchid with its ivory white petals and a well-defined dove shape which is a national emblem of Panama, will be held from August 30 to September 2, said a statement from the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP).
The event takes place, given that the pleasant climate of Las Minas promotes the growth, from July to October, of some 40 species of native orchids, among them, the Flower of the Holy Spirit or Peristeria Elata.
To maintain its production, for 18 years, residents of the area created the Association of "Orchidology" of Las Minas (Asomi), consisting mostly of housewives and flower lovers, and which is supported in turn by the Ministry of the Environment of Panama.
"Asomi starts with the need to have a place to protect and exhibit orchids, especially Peristeria Elata, which is our national flower," said Leily Vega, who has been a member of this association for more than 9 years.
Another of them is the cultivator Evidelia Navarro, who has been doing this activity for more than 17 years with varieties of miniature terrestrial and epiphytic orchids, that is, using other plants as support to live, in the gardens of their homes, with the purpose of protecting its existence and production.
"Most of all, we wanted to highlight our national flower, nobody had organized an event in its honor and for us it is pleasing to grow this flower wild in our fields," said the orchidologist.
Thanks to her education, Navarro has managed to make his garden one of the most exotic and visited by local and foreign tourists who choose Las Minas as a destination.
"With the tours in the residences we look for tourists to appreciate the flower of the Holy Spirit and know how it is grown, as well as other species of native and exotic orchids," says the young businesswoman, owner of a hostel in the town.
The beauty of this national flower has made it the target of an excessive exploitation, to the point that its sale is regulated by the Ministry of the Environment; it is also included in appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, among the species with the highest degree of endangered species.
This species of flower grows wild in the forests of the provinces of Panama, Coclé, Veraguas and Colón at heights of up to 1,000 meters above sea level. Although it is native to the Central American country, where there is greater variety, it is also found or grows in some areas of Colombia and Ecuador.