National Orchid Festival Begins in Cuba

HAVANA, Mar 9 (PL) The fifth National Orchid Festival has started here today with the participation of institutions, collectors, researchers and those interested in this variety of plants.

The event, to be held until March 12th at the Quintade los Molinos botanical garden in this capital, has been organized by the Cuban Society of Botany (SOCUBOT) and the Office of the Historian of Havana.

The festival will cover several activities, including the exhibition and competition of live plants, photographic exhibition and keynote speeches on the flora in the Caribbean nation and the cultivation and preservation of orchids.

The current state of the flora on the island and the analysis of invasive species in national ecosystems are among the issues under discussion.

The organizers anticipate great popular participation for the workshops of cultivation at homes and floral arrangements with orchids.

These are one of the largest families of flowering plants, ranging between 20,000 and 25,000 species, not counting the existing Orchid hybrids of artificial origin.

About 130 varieties of endemic orchids have been recorded in the country, they can be found in several wild places, accompanied by other specimens of the Caribbean and South American area, totaling 308 species.

Many of them are endangered by the intense harvesting they have undergone in recent years and other natural phenomena related to climate affecting natural populations.