Black Orchid, National Flower of Belize

Anyone who has read The Orchid Thief knows black orchids don’t actually exist. However, in Belize, there is an orchid that is almost black. The Black Orchid is Belize’s national flower and one of the few orchids that bloom all year.  The orchid’s petals start out a deep purple, darkening to navy blue as the plant matures. If the sun hits the orchid just right, it can truly look black. A word of warning though, don’t pick the Black Orchid! The flowers are heavily protected by law, and yes, that includes brides who want the national flower in their hair or wedding  bouquet.

Black Orchid

For more on Belize’s 300 different kinds of orchids…http://biological-diversity.info/native_orchids.htm or read “Native Orchids of Belize” by I. Mcleish.

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