[:en]Guaria Morada [Guarianthe Skinneri][:]

[:en]Continuing with our entries on Costa Rica’s National symbols. It is now time to talk about our national flower. For more info and our previous entries click here to read about our Flag and here to read about our national Bird.

For its national flower Costa Rica choose and orchid. Orchids are a very beautiful plants easily recognizable by their symmetric flowers and the complex and mesmerizing patterns use to attract pollinators. With more than 25.000 wild varieties of orchids and 60.000 artificial hybrids are one of the most vastly represent plants in the planet. Capable of living in most of the climates except deserts and polar climates.

The Guaria Morada or by its scientific name Guarianthe Skinneri. Is an epiphyte type of plan. This means that grows in the cortex of other trees without hurting the host. Is a beautiful light purple orchid unique to the tropical forests of Central America. And the national flower of Costa Rica since the 15 of June 1939 during the administration of León Cortes Castro.

The history goes that in 1939 Argentina send an invitation to Costa Rica to send its national flower for it to be exhibit in the new Jardin de Paz  with the flowers of other countries. In kind of a hurry the Club of Gardens and the Rotary Club started a context for the ticos to submit their entries for the new national flower. The rule was that the flower had to be original of Central América and been easily recognizable by the ticos.

And so, that was how among other 1400 kinds of orchids present in Costa Rica the Guaria Morada was selected precisely for been easily recognizable. Use mainstream during the time of lent and the Holly Week to glance the altars in the churches.

Since that day the Guaria Morada has been in deeply in grave in the hearts of the ticos representing the vibrant flora of the country. Guarias grow among 800m to 1400m above sea level and you can easily find one in houses, forests, jungles and stores in Costa Rica.

As a bonus fact in 1934. Five years before the declaration of the Guaria Morada as national flower a song was compose named “La Guaria Morada” by Roberto Gutiérrez Vargas, Carlos López Castro y Aníbal Reni. Song that now is one of Costa Rica’s minor anthems.
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