Flora of Peru
Peru is undoubtedly one of the world's best destinations for nature tourism. Home to many ecosystems, plants, and animals, Peru fosters over 10% of all species on earth. From Coastlines and deserts; to rainforest and sand dunes, the experience you will have in this beautiful country is incomparable.
Visiting the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is a must-do if you are traveling to Cusco, Peru. The humid tropical greenery and the peaks of eastern mountain ranges make Machu Picchu a remarkable wonder and a breathtaking symbol of the Inca Empire. This is an experience you can genuinely enjoy by spending the night next to the River Vilcanota in Casa del Sol Boutique Hotel at Aguas Calientes (https://www.casadelsolhotels.com)! In the town that guards the gateway to Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is a city built in the 15th century by the Inca Empire and it is considered one of the most important heritage sites in the world. It sits on a mountain 8000 feet above sea level in a remote cloud forest and it is home to more than 3,500 species of wild flora distributed among 240 genera. One can encounter plants of over five meters high with flowers as large as 20 cm long (such as the Sobralia dichotoma), to the most miniature orchids in the world with flowers only two millimeters wide. There are approximately 50 different species of trees per hectare, and almost 300 species of orchids have been recorded. Because of the incredibly diverse flora, it is tough to include and categorize all the beautiful plants one can find. These are some of the unique species found in Machu Picchu:
About 350 species of Orchids found in Machu Picchu are native, and more than 100 of them can be easily spotted in their natural habitat. To closely observe their unique species, one can always take an Orchid Appreciation Tour in Aguas Calientes.
Orchids can even be traced back to the pre-Columbian times, reflected in pre-Incan and Incan pottery, textiles, and legends. Today, they are still greatly admired for their beauty. Be sure to take a look at Phragmipedium peruvianum, a species that has become one of Peru's representative orchids.
A high number of orchids develop in Machu Picchu. A few of the main species are:
• Waqanki (Masdevallia Veitchiana)
• Wiñaywayna (Epidendrum Secundum)
• La Angulosa Virginalis
• Sobralia Dichotoma
• Trichopilia Frayans
• Choclo Choclo (Elleanihus Capitatus)
• Sobralia Virginalis
A popular legend tells the story of forbidden love, a beautiful Inca Princess destined for the sun god falls in love with an Inca warrior. When her father is informed about the scandalous love affair between the nobility and the villager, he is enraged. He orders the capture and execution of the Inca warrior. However, the maiden intercedes with the Inca for her lover. Hearing her supplication, her father spares the young man's life but sends him into the Amazon jungle. Upon finding out, the Princess ran in her lover's footsteps crying uncontrollably for her forbidden love. In the forest where her tears fell, beautiful waqanki orchids sprouted.
Today, the beautiful spirit of the waqnaki orchid is still expressed in songs about the love between the Inca warrior and the Princess.
The species that most stand out are polylepis, ferns, shrubs, orchids and vascular flora. A few species we are home to, apart from orchids, are the following:
• Achanqaray (Begonia Veitchii, Begoniaceae)
• Aña Pancu – (Echinopsis Maximiliana)
• Ayac Zapatilla (Calceolaria Chrysosphaera)
• Arzobispo (Justicia Alpina) Acanthaceae
• Begonia (Begonia bracteosa)
• Chimpu Chimpu (Fuchsia Boliviana)
• Clavel del Aire (Tillandsia Fendleri)
• El Monte Yahuarchonka Lytraceae
• El Floripondio Solanaceae
• El Molle Anacardiaceae
• Falso Kion (Hedychium coonarium, zingiberaceae)
• Helecho Arboreo (Cyathea Caracasana)
• Khamato Solanaceae (Nicotina Tormentosa)
• Morning Glory (Cobaea scandens)
• Oqa Oqa (Oxalidaceae, Coxalis spiralis)
• Sunchu (Virguería Mandoni)
• Tucnay (Hyptidendrum Arboreum)
• Wiñaywayna (Epidendrum Secundum)
We encourage you to visit Machu Picchu and stay at our wonderful hotel, Casa del Sol! (https://www.casadelsolhotels.com) You will have a once in a lifetime experience next to the amazing nature of the surroundings.