A specimen at the Soroa Orchid Garden in Pinar del Rio, a must-see due to its beauty. Photo: AIN

APPROXIMATELY 300 native orchid species exist in Cuba, many of which are endangered, experts from the Cuban Botanical Society (SOCUBOB) warned in Havana. The situation is due to the intense harvesting the plants have undergone in recent years, as well as natural phenomena related to climate affecting their natural habitat, hence the importance of conservation.

Orchidaceae is the family of flowering plants commonly known as orchids, including some 20-25,000 species depending on the criteria of different scholars, in addition to the many artificial hybrids, resulting in a much higher figure, the experts explained. In order to contribute to their preservation, SOCUBOB confirmed the invitation to representatives of institutions, collectors, researchers, interested parties and the general public to participate in the Fourth National Orchid Festival.

The activities will take place on January 15 and 18 in the garden of the Quinta de los Molinos del Rey, one of the centers of the Office of the Historian of Havana. According to the program, the festival will include a photography competition, open to all photographers resident in the country with a maximum submission of three works, the only condition being that the image was taken in Cuba.

There will also be workshops on cultivation, floral arrangements, conferences on the country and its plants, nourishment, experiences of in vitro culture, pests and diseases, a scientific session related to research themes, an exhibition and contest. (AIN)