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National Flower Of Guatemala: White Nun Orchid

National Flower Of Guatemala: White Nun Orchid

In today’s article, we will talk about the national flower of Guatemala. Since we know how much you love our floral column, we made sure that today, we mention all about this flower.

We will talk about its symbolism, the reasons behind its title the national flower, the spiritual meaning of this flower, its history, the legend of its three petals, and much more if you stay with us.

Guatemala City has many of these monja Blanca flowers in its garden, but would you like to have one in your home?

If Pinterest log-in didn’t help and the pictures you saw there, I’m sure this article will help you decide if you want to have this national flower in your home.

If you want to learn all about the national flower of Guatemala, let’s do some reading then.

What Is The National Flower Of Guatemala?

The national flower of Guatemala is the White orchid nun flower. These amazing flowers bloom in the humid forests of Guatemala, Costa Rica, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, and many European countries as well. Their beauty takes your breath away, especially when blooming, but they don’t have a unique smell.

Why Is White Nun Orchid The National Flower Of Guatemala?

The white nun orchid is the national flower of Guatemala due to the event from the 1933-international flower show. La monja Blanca (white nun orchid) was presented to the world as the famous flower specie in 1933.

That same year, Mrs. Letitia Southerland who was then the American President of the international flower shop sent a letter to Guatemalan president Jorge Ubico to express her gratitude for a donation to the show.

But that is not where this story ends. Mrs. Letita noticed and said to the president of course that his country doesn’t have a national flower. Why not choose the white nun orchid?

Mr. president accepted her offer and that is how the white nun orchid became the national flower of Guatemala.

Orchids were as we said, one of the flowers that were exhibited at that show, some for the first time as well. This flower is also called white woman, Lycaste virginalis, etc.

Guatemala National Flower Features And Characteristics

Lycaste skinneri alba flower has these characteristics and features:

Family: Orchidaceae

Growth type: fast-grower

Flower color: white

Leaf shape: oval-shape

Soil type: peat moss, perlite, black soil

Water needs: once per week

Light: direct sunlight with bright light

Fertilizer: fertilizer for orchid flowers

Use: cosmetics

What Is The Symbolism Of The Lycaste Skinneri Var Flower?

The white nun orchid has many symbolisms, the two most important meanings/symbolism of love and fertility.

The white nun orchid with its beautiful and luxurious appearance will undoubtedly always justify the title.

The meaning of the white orchid is interpreted through our desire for intimacy, touch, warmth, and passion. In addition, it is also a symbol of fertility and birth, peace, serenity, and creativity.

The white orchid and its meaning depict abundance, and the need to reach the highest goals, and as the orchid is also known for its petals of a perfect geometric shape, its name has always been associated with the perfection of nature.

Elegant and exotic, the white nun orchid has worldwide significance as a symbol of romance, love, attention, passion, purity, innocence, and chastity. Its name comes from the Greek word orchis, which means testicle. That’s why we are not surprised that the Orchid is considered a flower that helps with conception, right?

What Is The Spiritual Meaning Of The White Nun Orchid?

The white orchid has a spiritual meaning that symbolizes beauty and elegance and also has a dose of innocence that does not oblige.

Back in ancient China, the white orchid had meaning as a powerful flower that guaranteed large and healthy offspring.

For this purpose, in addition to the plant itself, it’s essential oil or perfume based on white orchids can be used. Thanks to all of the above, it is certain that this flower is enchanting.

Meanings Of White Nun Orchid Flowers In The Past

The white nun orchid is a symbol of wealth, luxury, and aristocracy. This opinion is more popular in the East and the countries of the East than in the West.

A few centuries ago, it was difficult to get a flower because of the high costs. Because of this, only rich connoisseurs of exotics bought the plant.

At that time, this plant represented luxury and sophistication because only wealthy people had it. The three perfect white petals of the white nun orchid resemble the delicate wings of a butterfly. A sprig of white orchid – a sign of sincere affection and pure love without an expiration date.

The flower serves as a talisman for young mothers who have a child; Therefore, the white color of the plant combines all other colors and is considered a symbol of completeness and the beginning of a new phase.

History Of The Lycaste Skinneri Var Flower

190 years ago, this beautiful flower came to Europe and then spread to other countries and continents. Botanists already knew then that it was a really rare species of orchid and that the flower would be propagated at the speed of light.

They kept it under scrutiny for a long time, but like everything beautiful, the news soon spread and this flower is now available in many countries of the world.

In the 19th century, the flower was so popular that it even made it into the world’s famous plant magazines, including in 1889, when a critic described this flower as so unreal that it looked like a drawing of an orchid. In general, orchid flowers exist since 450-500 BC.

How did they become so popular then? As we said above, explorers and scientists carried them back home as they were discovering new species of this flower. It is now an international flower and you can actually see it at the international flower show. If you can’t visit the show to see many particular species, get a free Pinterest app and look at their amazing pictures there. The orchid researcher will shock you I’m sure.

There are also many hybrids and similar types of this flower, but none of them compare to the real white nun orchid and its fairy-tale appearance. Currently, Guatemala and Costa Rica are the two countries where the largest number of this type of orchid is grown and found. Although it deserves many praises based on its unique appearance, this reddish-purple and white species has no smell.

First Documented Story About White Nun Orchids

According to some stories, the first white orchid was found by a German traveler. In 1752, in the same place, on an island in Indonesia, a Swedish pastor discovered flowers of extraordinary beauty whose name he did not know. He picked the flower and sent it to Carl Linnaeus, then a very famous botanist from Sweden. By the way, do you know what the national flower of Sweden?

A well-known herbologist of that time described the found specimen in his work “Classification of Flora and Fauna.”

The story continues several dozen years later. In 1825, in Germany, Karl Blume discovered another white beautiful flower, but he did not know its name either. Looking at the local tropical vegetation at dusk through his glasses, he saw a flock of large white butterflies that were on the branches of the trees but not moving.

That was strange to him. As he got closer, he realized he had made a mistake. It was not a flock of butterflies but the flowers of an unknown white nun orchid.

Greek Myth About The White Nun Orchid

In Greek mythology, it was believed that you can control fertility with a white orchid flower. Before the husband and wife would sleep, the husband would eat orchids. This increased a man’s fertility, as well as his chances of the first child being male.

If the mother did the same, then the chances of having a female child would be higher. They could therefore control when they would have a female and when a male child. It was also believed that the white nun orchid is an excellent aphrodisiac, and men regularly ate the flowers of this plant or squeezed the flowers and made juice with water from them.

Greek Legend About The White Nun Orchid

The white nun orchid is widely known in the world for its unique beauty and medicinal properties, but few people know why it got its name. There is a lot of speculation behind its discovery, but of course, there are also legends. According to one legend, the goddess Aphrodite fell in love with Adonis.

However, nobody liked him on Mount Olympus, and Zeus found out about it very quickly. He got angry with all his lovers and decided to deal with both of them. He sent down thunderous showers, but the pair managed to hide in a cave. In the cave, they saw a beautiful white nun orchid. That’s how, according to Greek legend, this flower was found.

Legend Of New Zealand About The White Nun Orchid

According to the belief of the people of New Zealand, the clouds covered the sky to such an extent that the sun could not see the earth. Then he tried to separate them with his rays, so the clouds began to fall like rain on the ground. After the rain, a great bright rainbow appeared in the sky, and many evil spirits rushed to this light. Each of them tried to take their place on it, as a result of which the rainbow could not hold and split into small multi-colored fragments. They fell to the ground and became flowers. Those flowers were white nun orchids.

American Legend About The White Nun Orchid

American legend says that one day a young man went in search of a white nun orchid flower. He received this order from the king, who wanted to decorate his entire court with an unusual flower, never seen before. The search was long, difficult, and tiring. Days passed, but the young man still did not return home with the flower. Wandering for so long and seemingly aimlessly, the young man came across a small village.

In the village, the villagers welcomed him into their home, fed him, and allowed him to spend the night in the old church. Waking up in the morning, the man saw a bright white flower tied to the church cross. He begged the priest to give him an orchid, but he refused. The minister said that the villagers once died of drought and hunger and almost lost their faith.

Then the priest asked them to bring the most precious thing they had to the temple. People took this flower from the pagan altar and took it to the church. As soon as the plant was inside the walls of the temple, a miracle happened – it started to rain outside. And when he finished, people saw that the rare flower was shining with snow-white light.

Tale Old As The Time About The White Nun Orchid

Once upon a time, the world was ruled by gods – more of them for many deities. One of the Goddesses of that time was the beautiful and gentle White Orchid. She ruled with right and submission, but she was the daughter of the God of Fairness and the Goddess of Joy. The Goddess was too good and could not see the bad, the evil, the rude in this world.

She only saw the good in people. The other gods decided to sue Orchid for her short-sightedness. They thought she was not wise enough to be a goddess and decided to bring her to the light of justice. At the same time, the god of art Archie heard about the vision and judgments of beauty.

He decided to steal his beloved from captivity, but he paid for it. The other gods did not accept this act of Archie and executed him. And Orchid went across the world to look for her beloved and eventually turned into a forest flower. Since then, it has been generally accepted that the rain tears the beloved beautiful orchids and that they bloom best after the rain.

Funny Story About White Nun Orchids

Although orchids are beautiful flowers, they are dangerous flowers. Attachment to orchids is dangerous. How much do you know about the stories of people who were inspired by one orchid they received as a gift to fill their apartment with these flowers? In 1901, eight hunters went to the Philippines to hunt.

In less than a month, a hunter was eaten by a tiger. Another unfortunate hunter was doused in oil and burned completely. As many as five hunters disappeared as if the earth had swallowed them. They searched for them for days, but there was no sign or voice from them. But miraculously, months later, one managed to survive and get out of the forest. He came out into the clearing with thousands of white nun orchids.

FAQ – National Flower Of Guatemala


As always, we will make sure we answer all of your questions. In today’s faq section we bring you more about other national symbols of Guatemala. Let’s find out more below.

What Is The National Animal Of Guatemala?

Resplendent quetzals are the national animal of Guatemala country. It’s a green-headed bird that lives in tropical areas usually and it’s a rare specie in Guatemala country.

What Is The National Bird Of Guatemala?

The national bird of Guatemala is the same as its national animal-Resplendent quetzals.

What Is The National Anthem Of Guatemala?

The Guatemalan national anthem was written by the Cuban poet José Joaquín Palma. He officially performed it in 1887 after a national call to create the anthem of Guatemala. After that, in 1897 he was officially declared master of the composer Rafael Álvarez Ovalle. It goes like this:

If tomorrow is your sacred ground, Is profaned by foreign invasion, Stained in blood, your beautiful flag Will serve as a shroud for the bold, Stained in blood, your beautiful flag, Will serve as a shroud for the bold, May your people have a fierce spirit, Be rather dead than a slave. From your old and hard chains, You melted with an angry hand, The plow that fertilizes the soil, And the sword that saves honor.

What’s A National Flag Of Guatemala?

The flag of Guatemala has three vertical parts of light blue and white. The white stripe between the two blue ones represents the fact that Guatemala is located between two oceans, namely the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. As we all know, white color is also a symbol of purity.

The flag is derived from the second flag of the United Provinces of Central America. In the center of the flag is the coat of arms of Guatemala. On the coat of arms is the national bird which is a symbol of freedom. On the coat of arms is a parchment with the date when this country gained independence from Spain.

Where Do White Nun Orchids Grow?

White nun orchid flowers grow in forest areas, and tropical rainforests. They grow well in humidity areas with bright indirect light conditions and direct sun in the morning hours. They don’t thrive well in shady areas.

Are White Nun Orchids Native To Guatemala?

Even though this country has many endemic orchid species, this variety isn’t native to Guatemala. It’s not really known where were these flowers spotted first.

What Is Rarest Orchid Color?

A very rare orchid color is blue. If you find a blue orchid in a flower shop consider yourself lucky since they are so hard to get! It’s just very hard to attain them and find them. Even in their native habitats, they are super rare.

Is White Nun Orchid Hard to Grow?

As we mentioned above, they are not high-maintenance plants and they are very easy to grow once they have enough light. Besides good light conditions, you’ll need fertilizer for orchid plants only and some good black soil or perlite soil.

Is White Nun Orchid Toxic?

These orchids have poisonous substances in them, but only if you swallow them for example (eat them) they can be dangerous. You can touch them, but we recommend you wash your hands later before eating anything. They cause vomiting in cats and dogs.

Final Thoughts On The National Flower Of Guatemala

In today’s article, we learned everything about the national flower of Guatemala. In case you didn’t know much about this flower, surely you do know.

Its amazing petals truly have numerous stories behind them and that’s what makes these flowers so special. They are not high-maintenance so it is very easy to have them in your home as well in case you want to plant these in your home. I am sure that their symbolism can decide for itself right?

We hope that you enjoyed the stories about its history, the legend and everything above. That would be all for today, see you soon with some similar topics like the national flower of Germany or the national flower of Ireland.