By John Smith • 11 October 2021 • 16:21
The new display area in Estepona
Credit: Estepona Council
A NEWLY discovered orchid in Guatemala has been named after Estepona and a special space has been created in the town Orchid Park.
It was first describer by the Guatemalan botanist and agronomist Fredy Leonel Archiva Morales and as director of the Archila Family Orchid Experimental Station and associate researcher of the BIGU-USAC herbarium he decided to name this new species Stanhopea esteponae.
Although it is unusual to name a botanical specimen after a town thousands of kilometres away from the site of the discovery but according to Morales he wanted to recognise “the important task of orchid conservation that is carried out in the Estepona Orchid Park”.
The Stanhopea esteponae grows above 1,800 metres above sea level in low montane forests, very humid, with an average temperature of 18 degrees during the day and 12.5 degrees at night.
These requirements make it “impossible” to keep this species in the Estepona Orchid Garden, where the temperature in summer can reach 30 degrees.
The flowers are large, reaching a span of up to 12 centimetres and it has the typical complex structure of the genus ‘Stanhopea’, with a large and showy lip, provided with bulging horns in the mesoquillo to redirect insects towards the pollen masses.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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