The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador.
– A Quest of Beauty and Mystery is around Amazonian Orchids in the Yasuni, with many hours in the field rescuing and collecting fallen specimens deep in the Jungle.
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador are easily distinguished plants, with blooms that are often colourful and fragrant. Amazon Orchids combine their special apomorphies like: bilateral symmetry of the flower (zygomorphism), many resupinate flowers, a nearly always highly modified petal (labellum), fused stamens and carpels, and extremely small seeds.
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador are still a mystery for science in many ways. From simple question like How many species of Orchids live in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador?… We do not know. We know very little about this diverse family of plants present in the Amazon Rainforest at all stratas.
Many species of Amazon Orchids live in the canopy, while others live attached to the tree trunks, under the the thick canopy with less light and just a few can live inside Terra firme, there a few that are able to live in swampy area.
In-Situ Amazon Orchid Garden in Ecuador
Most of the Amazonian Orchids living in Ecuador can be found in the In-Situ Wild Amazon Orchid Garden in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve this remote garden, was started with a single question: Where are the Orchids around here?
A simple Orchid Question lead to a frenetic quest to find them, we all know, most of the Amazonian Orchids live up 40 or 50 meters above the ground, most of they live in different and challenging conditions of the canopy, most of them adapted a lifestyle to limited conditions like soil, water
How we create the largest living collection of Orchids Amazon of the Amazon Rainforest?
During our walks in the forest on our Nature trips, we start searching for orchids plants along the paths, during these process, we trained our eyes to recognize orchids.
We learnt the areas in the forest where we could find them, after heavy rainstorms thousands o branches come down and many of them bring rarities.
Parts of an Orchid
- Bloom – the actual flowers once they are open.
- Bud – the flower before it is opened.
- Column – the tiny, rounded, column-like extension between the two largest petals. This little guy is the central reproductive organ of the orchid flower.
- Inflorescence – the flowering part of a plant.
- Keiki – a small plant growing from a node on the flower stem.
- Leaves – located above the roots.
- Lip – the part of the flower that is almost completely divided from the rest of the flower, however, it is connected by the column. The lip is specialized to aid in pollination.
- Medium – the material added to an orchid’s container, which can range from varieties such as soil to bark.
- Node – a distinct joint or notch on the inflorescence from which a secondary flower stem can emerge from after the primary inflorescence has finished blooming.
- Roots – located just below the leaves.
- Sepal – the outer segments on an orchid flower. Similar to petals, sepals are the three smaller segments of the flower that create a triangular shape.
- Spike/Stem – a flower stalk.
- Stake – a wooden stick to support the orchid spike.
- Throat – the inner portion of a tubular orchid lip, often quite colorful.
The Genus of Orchids found in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador:
- Gongora is a genus of showy epiphytic Orchids family (Orchidaceae). It consists of 65 species known from Central America, Trinidad, and tropical South America, with most species found in Colombia and Ecuador. The habit of the Gongora species, and especially the fact that the pendent inflorescences originate from the base of the pseudobulbs, indicates that they all are true epiphytes. Gongora has complex pollination system. They are pollinated by male solitary bees of the Euglossinae family .
- Epidendrum is a large neotropical genus of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae). With more than 1,500 species, some authors describe it as a mega-genus. Their habitat can be epiphytic, terrestrial, or even lithophytic (growing on bare rock).
- Sobralia is a genus of Orchid family (Orchidaceae) native to Mexico, Central and South America. The plants are more commonly terrestrial, but are also found growing epiphytically, in wet forests from sea level to about 8,800 ft.
- Catasetum is a genus of showy epiphytic Orchids family (Orchidaceae) occur from Mexico to Argentina, including much of Central America, the West Indies, and South America. The largest number of species is in Brazil.