30 October, 2017

Belize's National Flower

Black Orchid - At first blush, you might think Black Orchid is some pricey perfume. It is - pricey and a perfume.

I looked it up on Google to see if there was a perfume named Black Orchid. There is. It's made and sold by someone named Tom Ford, who sounds more like an actor from the silent era of the silver screen than someone selling a sultry, smoking hawt perfume.
Black Orchid Parfume
Anyway, it's for sale on, where else,, for $99.98 US for 3.4 ounces. Just in case you were wondering, that works out to approximately $29.41 US per oz, or an eye-opening $3,764.48 US. So, in my book, yes, it's pricey.

But that's not what I'm writing about. I'm writing about the Black Orchid (Encyclia Cochleatum) that is the national flower of Belize. Black orchids grow on trees in damp areas, and they flower pretty much all year round.Not continuously in our area of Corozal, but now and then throughout the year.
Beautiful Flowers
Black orchids grow with clustered bulblike stems that vary in size up to approximately six-inches long and have two or three leaves. Not to say that the flowers themselves are anywhere near that size, as you can tell from the photo below. I've used a Belize Shilling (about the size of a US quarter,  and worth twenty-five Belize cents) for reference on the size.
A Shilling for Scale
Karen, our housekeeper, called my attention to the blooms out on our patio, where we have several black orchid plants anchored to a gumbo limbo tree.

I grabbed my camera and headed out to the back of the patio, next to the canal and you see the result.


Vivien said...

They are beautiful!

Winjama said...

Hi Vivien,

Thanks again. It's nice of you to comment. They are beautiful and so tiny. It's very easy to overlook them, not just in a natural setting, but also here in our garden. It's nice that they get some special recognition.