Costa Rica National Flower: Purple Guaria Morada Orchid

Let’s talk about Costa Rica National Flower. The lush and vibrant country of Costa Rica is not only known for its breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife but also for its rich floral heritage. One flower that holds great significance in Costa Rican culture is the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid. As the national flower of Costa Rica, this exquisite orchid symbolizes the beauty, resilience, and unique character of the country. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid, exploring its history, significance, and natural habitat.

Costa Rica: A Haven for Orchids

Costa Rica boasts an astonishing variety of orchids, with over 1,400 known species. This Central American paradise provides an ideal climate and diverse ecosystems, making it a haven for these captivating flowers. Orchids are highly esteemed in Costa Rican culture, cherished for their beauty, elegance, and intriguing growth patterns.

The Purple Guaria Morada Orchid: Overview and Description

The Purple Guaria Morada Orchid, scientifically known as Guarianthe skinneri, is a stunning flower native to Costa Rica. It features vibrant purple petals, delicate patterns, and a mesmerizing fragrance. The orchid’s intricate structure and unique coloration make it a true marvel of nature.

Cultural Significance: Costa Rica National Flower

The Purple Guaria Morada Orchid holds deep cultural significance in Costa Rica. It was officially declared as the national flower in 1939, chosen for its captivating beauty and representation of the country’s identity. This orchid is highly cherished and celebrated during festivals, weddings, and other special occasions.

Conservation Efforts for Costa Rica National Flower

Due to its significance and the threat posed by habitat loss and illegal trade, conservation efforts have been initiated to protect the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid. Various organizations and botanical gardens work diligently to preserve its natural habitat, educate the public, and promote sustainable practices to safeguard this precious flower for future generations.

Costa Rica National Flower: Natural Habitat

The Purple Guaria Morada Orchid thrives in the tropical rainforests and cloud forests of Costa Rica. It favors high elevations and can be found clinging to tree branches, rocks, and other suitable substrates. The orchid’s ability to adapt to different environments showcases its resilience and ability to flourish amidst diverse conditions.

Growing and Caring for Purple Guaria Morada Orchids

Purple Guaria Morada Orchids can be cultivated as ornamental plants, both in their native habitat and in other parts of the world. Cultivating these orchids requires specific care, including providing adequate sunlight, maintaining optimal humidity levels, and using well-drained potting mix. By following proper cultivation techniques, enthusiasts can enjoy the beauty of these remarkable flowers in their own homes and gardens.

Uses of the Costa Rica National Flower

Apart from its ornamental value, the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid has several uses in Costa Rican culture. Its vibrant petals are sometimes used in traditional medicinal remedies, and the flower is also employed in various cosmetic and perfumery products. Additionally, the orchid’s cultural significance extends to its representation in art, literature, and folklore.

Popular Orchid Species in Costa Rica

While the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid holds the distinction of being the national flower, Costa Rica is home to numerous other captivating orchid species. Some popular examples include the Dancing Lady Orchid (Oncidium), Scarlet Star Orchid (Epidendrum radicans), and Monkey-Face Orchid (Dracula simia). Each species possesses its unique charm, adding to Costa Rica’s reputation as an orchid lover’s paradise.

Fun Facts about Orchids

  • Orchids are one of the largest families of flowering plants, with over 30,000 recognized species worldwide.
  • Vanilla, a popular flavoring agent, is derived from the seed pods of certain orchid species.
  • Orchids have evolved intricate pollination mechanisms, often involving specific insect or animal species.
  • The smallest orchid in the world, the Platystele jungermannioides, measures only a few millimeters in size.
  • Orchids have existed on Earth for millions of years and can be found on every continent except Antarctica.


The Purple Guaria Morada Orchid, Costa Rica’s national flower, exemplifies the country’s commitment to environmental stewardship and appreciation for natural beauty. Its striking appearance and cultural significance make it a cherished emblem of the nation. By promoting conservation efforts and understanding the importance of preserving biodiversity, we can ensure the longevity of this remarkable orchid and its irreplaceable place in Costa Rican heritage.


  1. What is the significance of the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid in Costa Rica?

The Purple Guaria Morada Orchid holds great cultural and national significance in Costa Rica. It symbolizes the country’s natural beauty and serves as a representation of its rich biodiversity.

  • How did the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid become Costa Rica’s national flower?

In 1939, the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid was officially designated as Costa Rica’s national flower due to its striking beauty, endemic nature, and cultural importance within the country.

  • Can the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid be found outside of Costa Rica?

No, the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid is endemic to Costa Rica, meaning it is found only within the country’s borders. It has not been discovered growing naturally anywhere else in the world.

  • What are the unique characteristics of the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid?

The Purple Guaria Morada Orchid is known for its vibrant purple flowers with intricate patterns and delicate petals. It is a epiphytic orchid, meaning it grows on other plants without causing harm to them.

  • Are there any conservation efforts in place to protect the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid?

Yes, Costa Rica recognizes the importance of preserving its national flower. Conservation organizations and botanical gardens work diligently to protect and cultivate the Purple Guaria Morada Orchid, ensuring its survival for future generations.


  • “Costa Rica’s National Symbols: Orchid, Guanacaste Tree, and Yigüirro Bird.” The Costa Rican News, 20 Jan. 2020,
  • “National Symbols.” Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington D.C.,
  • Janzen, Daniel H. Costa Rican Natural History. University of Chicago Press, 1983.
  • “Guaria Morada: The National Flower of Costa Rica.” Costa Rica Guide,

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