Documents: Special Interest: Orchids:

Quito’s Botanical Garden: A World-Class Plant Exhibit
by Peter Lauffer
July 27, 2008

No matter where you look in Ecuador, the proliferation of fauna and flora impact everyday life—whether it’s simply the beauty of the flowers, or the fact that they represent a growth export industry. Quito Botanical Garden has opened its doors to the public to encounter an entire universe of plants--- all colors, sizes, shapes and aromas.

Within these gardens, you will find plants that have adapted and grow bountifully in the harsh climate of the high Andes, as well as tropical plants that are ubiquitous within the lush cloud and rain forests.

Quito Botanical Garden teaches about the vast array of microclimates and ecosystems we enjoy within the confines of our country: the moorlands or paramos of the high Andes, the cloud forest, the dry forest, the damps of the highlands, the Inca garden, bromeliad garden, palm garden, and orchid displays. Experts have said that nowhere else in the world can be found such a variety of growing plants as in Ecuador. More than 1,200 orchid species and a number of hybrids are exhibited in "Crystal Palaces,” occupying an area of over 800 square meters.

One palace holds altitude orchids and other tropical species.

Did you know?

  • Within Ecuador, one of every four plant species is an orchid.
  • In one hectare of the Ecuadorian tropical rain forest there are more than 350 plant species, a true world record!
  • Ecuador holds approximately 17.000 plant species, more than the whole European continent.
  • The Base medicine which has saved the highest number of lives in the world was discovered in an Ecuadorian plant, the “cascarilla”.
  • Ecuador is the most diverse country in terms of plant species per area.

Did you know that ICanGarden.com is going to do a tour to Ecuador again in January 2009? Check out the tour at www.gardeningtours.com

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