The National Flower of Panama

Panama's national flower is the orchid known as the Flower of the Holy Spirit, whose scientific name is Peristeria Elata. A small white dove with open wings that appears in the center of its petals makes this orchid particularly charming.

The National Assembly of the Republic of Panama declared it the national flower of Panama on October 21, 1980, under the urgings of Miss María T.

The flower normally blossoms between July and October, although you may see it in flower at other times of year. Corresponding with its peak period to bloom, every September the village of Las Minas, in the province of Herrera, holds a Flower of the Holy Spirit Fair in honor of the plant, though other orchids are also on display. Orchidologists have identified some 12 varieties of the flower, also known as the Holy Ghost Orchid or Dove Orchid, in Las Minas.

Curiously, unlike most orchids that grow on trees, this flower is found at ground level, often on rocks, but always near very humid areas.