Monteverde is a place in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, an approximately four-hour journey from the Central Valley. Costa Rica is famous for its diverse variety of flora and fauna. Among them, Orchids are one of the main attractions. The majority of orchids in Costa Rica are in Monteverde Orchid Gardens. The Garden alone accommodates over 500 species of orchids from a wide range of color and shape. Monsoon is the best season of the year for orchids according to thrive. A countless number of tourists and naturalists flood to these place in this time of the year.
Briefing on Orchids
In the hierarchical nomenclature, orchids are from Asparagales order and Orchidaceae family. Orchidaceae is one among the family which produces diverse and stunning varieties of flowering plants. According to classification based on natural habitat, most orchids comes under epiphytes, therefore, they dwell on host plants only for support. Epiphytes derive nutrition and moisture from surrounding environment.
Orchids are germinated from flower pods upon exposure to an adequate amount of light, not direct exposure to the radiant sun, for good quality efflorescence. Moderate watering, providing fertilizers and insecticides accordingly are equally important.
Pollination & Life Cycle
The petal of an orchid flower resembles a female insect to attract pollinators. Pollinators of orchid plants are mainly insects, bees, and hummingbirds. Among them, hummingbirds are perfect pollinators, due to the structure of their slender long beaks. Orchid tend to have brightly colored blooms if the pollinators are hummingbirds. Plenty of seed is seen inside the pod after pollination. When these pod break open, seeds get dispersed and land on tree barks having a particular type of fungus. This minerals and sugars produced by the fungus are utilized by the orchid consequently leading to germination.
About Monteverde Garden
The meaning of Monteverde is the green mountain. It is an ecological sanctuary having possession of around 500 species of orchids, mostly miniature varieties which include endemic varieties as well as artificially made. The garden is also famous for 60 species of amphibians, 91 species of migratory birds and a wide range of rare mammalian fauna. This jewel is quoted as one of Costa Rica’s seven natural wonders and has a history of 10 years.
A Tour Round the Garden
The journey starts around 8 am and may take to around one hour. There will be guides who will enlighten the tourists regarding the floras, biodiversity and natural habitat. Every explorer is given a magnifying glass before the expedition. The tour is in three phases. Miniature orchids remain the main attraction in the first phase, which is home to the smallest known species of orchid to behold. The second phase demonstrates the larger varieties which include species like Oncidium, Maxillaria etc. These are native species found abundantly in Costa Rica. Ultimately, hybrid species are rich in the last phase of exploration. These are scientific varieties, cultured in labs by cross-pollination, under a controlled environment, hence, resulting in wonderful new combinations. This short tour through the wonderful jungle filled with orchids is a never forgetting experience and a golden jewel in memory forever.