THE Estepona Orchidarium is famed in Andalucia for its mind-blowing flora. 

The striking building is divided into two levels separated by a beautiful bamboo forest that covers 1,000 square meters.

With a waterfall more than 15 meters high, the three glass domes provide the perfect vantage point to view the 5,000 plant species and 1,300 orchid species. 

As of February, it boasts an extremely rare orchid species known as Fredclarekara After Dark, so named because of the distinctive balck colour of its flowers. 

Park curator Manuel Lucas explained that such a colour rarely occurs in nature and is the result of exposure to light that the plant receives at the time of flowering.

Orchid Wiki
Estepona’s orchid collection is unrivalled.
Photo: Wikipedia.

Amazingly, the colour of the plant changes depending on the time of day – in the first half of the morning the flowers are a chocolate brown, while from midday the hue transitions to an intense black.

The Orchidarium also recently announced the Phalaenopsis gigantea, also known as ‘Elephant Ear’ and deemed to be a highly rare species can now be viewed by the public.

It is also anticipated that the Coelogyne rochussenii will soon be on show, noted for its highly pungent smell.

Next month should see the blooming of the Psychopsis orchids, large flowers of intense orange red and yellow which are often compared to dancing butterflies. 

The Bulbophyllum nimphopolitanum meanwhile will showcase its lemon-yellow leaves coinciding with the bloom of the purple Miltonia.

The ticket price is €3 for adults and €1 for children.

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