The Flor de Mayo became the national flower of Venezuela in 1951. This orchid, whose scientific name is Cattleya mossiae was named in William Cattley´s (1788 - 1835) honour - an international horticulturist who collected plants from all over the world and was particularly fond of orchids. He cultivated this plant for the first time in England with bulbs he received from Brazil in 1818. Twenty years later this plant was also found in Venezuela.
This orchid is commonly called Flor de Mayo because it blooms in May (Mayo) and was used to decorate the May Cross, a holiday celebrated on May 3 in many Hispanic countries. Religiously, the festival is rooted in the search, by the Byzantine Empress Saint Helena, for the cross on which Jesus died.
Beautiful Orchids in Caracas