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Asociación Mexicana de Orquideología, A. C.           

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Hystory I

Near the end of the 17th century, King Charles III of Spain also sent a series of scientific expeditions to inventory the flora of the Americas. Many ornamental plants that were discovered were shipped back to the Royal Botanic Gardens of Aranjuez in Spain. Orchids were among the plants that were included in these shipments. Unfortunately, almost all of the orchids died because Spain’s climate was very different from the climate in their native land. However, some species of orchids did manage to survive their trans-Atlantic voyage. Sobralia species, in particular, flourished at the Botanic Garden of Orotava in the Canary Islands, which had a climate much more suitable to their cultivation than the European mainland.

After México gained her independence from Spain an unlikely pairing of a priest, De La Llave, and a soldier, Lexarza, together took on the task of classifying many newly discovered orchid species in spite of the political instability of the times. The explorations of these first native Mexican botanists continued after the revolutionary period and into the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz. La Llave and Lexarza’s publications that represented the first true scientific classification of México’s native flora are considered groundbreaking in their importance.

Around 1940 a group called, "Amigos de las Orquídeas" (Friends of the Orchids), organized the First International Congress of Orchidology in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. The Amigos de las Orquídeas continued to gather for about 15 years, but as the older members died and new members were not recruited, the group slowly dispersed.

In 1966, Joaquin Ibarrola had the idea to reorganize the original group. He along with some other orchid growers formed the "Asociacion Amigos de las Orquídeas". In 1971 Eric Hagsater legally registered the group with the Mexican government and changed its name to the “Asociación Mexicana de Orquideología".

For over 30 years, the original group has continued to meet on a monthly basis in Mexico City. The members put together informative lectures, bring plants to exhibit, and trade divisions of their orchids among themselves. Recently, legally propagated plants are now available for members to buy. But because interest in orchids is not confined solely to the capital city, pioneering orchidophiles organized new AMO chapters in the cities of Cuernavaca, Morelos; Xalapa, Veracruz; Morelia, Michoacan; and Guadalajara, Jalisco. As we continue to expand, we are excited to announce that new chapters are now forming in the states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan.

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