Orchids are truly fascinating flowers, and collecting them or even just seeing them has become the aspiration of thousands. A simple Google search will show you just how passionate many people are about these delicate and elusive flowers. There are about 800 species of orchids in Nicaragua, and many grow in the mountainous regions of the north, particularly Mombacho volcano. The volcano’s multiple ecosystems lead to a startling level of diversity. Of the 800 species present in Nicaragua, 87 can be found on Mombacho.
There has been extensive study of Mombacho’s orchid population, and their primary habitat at the top of the volcano is now protected. It is not permitted to harvest wild orchids in Nicaragua, and it is not an advisable thing from a practical standpoint either. The reason for the diversity of orchids in Nicaragua is the same reason that harvesting them is so difficult. Orchids need to stay in their wild climate, including specific temperature and humidity. Many inexperienced flower aficionados will attempt to harvest orchids and bring them home, where they promptly die due to the trauma of transplantation and the variations in climate determined by altitude.
In the picture above, you can see Mausi Kuhl, owner of Selva Negra, giving a tour of her orchid rescue garden. This area is home to about 90 species of orchids. These orchids come from recently fallen trees and branches, where they would have eventually died without help. While harvesting orchids from the wild is not normally an acceptable practice, Mrs. Kuhl is in fact preserving the lives of orchids from the surrounding area. She has accumulated forty different species of orchids, almost half of the species present in the cloud forest of Nicaragua. This diverse, serene garden sits right next to the ecolodge at Selva Negra, and further enhances the beauty of the working coffee farm and nature preserve.
Orchids truly are an entrancing flower, and the orchids in Nicaragua offer up stunning diversity for being located in such a small geographical area. There are several companies that offer nature tours, and you will quickly find that the beautiful biodiversity that comes with Nicaragua’s orchids extends to birds as well. There are nearly as many bird species in Nicaragua as there are orchids, and the complementing, vibrant colors make Nicaragua’s natural landscape even more majestic.
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