Orchids from Jamaica have arrived to enrich the collections of the Cuban Orchid House of Soroa, the greatest orchard of its type in Cuba, sheltering 500 native and exotic varieties, experts confirmed Tuesday to Cuban press agency Prensa Latina.
The flowers donated by the neighboring island have a high ornamental value because of their attractive forms and tonalities, explained Cuban expert Jorge Lázaro Bocourt, director of the Cuban Orchid House.
Bocourt commented that many of those plants are hybrid, obtained from Caribbean and Asian species, which managed to adapt to their new conditions in breeding grounds created for those purposes.
Founded in 1943, the orchid house recovered from the damages caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, with the help of botanists, homologous institutions and private collectors.
As a result of the collaboration and exchange with gardens and growers from Cuba and abroad, 50 varieties of the orchid arrived in Soroa. Among the recent acquisitions, Bocourt emphasized the donation sent by Claude Hamilton, president of the Jamaican Orchid Society.
After the damage caused by recent hurricanes, it was necessary to partially restore the site with the use of native specimens of other regions of the country and the world; an international group of contributors supported the effort to rescue this work of nature and man, said the researcher and scientific illustrator.
In a hill on the western Sierra del Rosario Mountains, the orchard was created by late Spanish lawyer Tomás Felipe Camacho as a tribute to his wife Pilar and their daughter Pilila.
For the original report go to http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=466915&Itemid=1
Orchid photo from Jamaica Orchid Society at http://www.hamlynorchids.com/jaos.htm