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Asociación Mexicana de Orquideología, A. C.           

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Hystory I

Orchids have been cultivated in México for at least 500 years. At the time of the Spanish conquest, historians noted that Aztec nobles grew several species. According to some codices, one unknown species was used in the preparation of a cake recipe and another (Vanilla sp.) was used to prepare ceremonial drinks.

The native flora intrigued the king of Spain, Phillip II, and he ordered the first systematic inventory of the plants of México. He sent Francisco Hernandez to document and draw Mexican plants that were unknown to scientists in Europe. Among the plants that he described were four species of orchids: A Stanhopea, a Laelia, an Encyclia and a Bletia. The Stanhopea species that he discovered now bears his name: Stanhopea hernandezii.

Owing to their ease of culture and beauty, native Mexican orchids continued to be widely grown for the 300 years that México was governed by Spain.

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