When time and funding permit, each flower (each plant species) will have its own page, and its own PDF, and eventually its own PPT so that professors and students have plenty of material on Guatemala (and Honduras, etc) to study.

Heliconia adflexa, Coban, Guatemala, Hotel Monja Blanca, FLAAR, by Nicholas Hellmuth

This space is for flowers
we have recently found and photographed.


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Bibliography on Habenaria Orchid genus from the Mayan areas

List of Orchids from the genus Habenaria in Guatemala:

The following list, according to Ames & Corell (1985), are the Habenaria species found in Guatemala. The first ones, in bold, are the ones that are believed can be found in Lake Yaxha and adjacent Lake Sacnab, Petén, according to the georeferenced records given by GBIF (https://www.gbif.org/species/2828306).

We are interested in making an inventory of all orchids related to the two large lakes in Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo, Peten, Guatemala.

So any Habenaria species found in Lake Peten Itza, Lake Macanche, etc, is likely to be found in a similar eco-system around the Yaxha lakes.

Any Habenaria species found along rivers elsewhere in Peten may possibly be alongside Rio Ixtinto (at the southwest end of Lake Yaxha, adjacent to Topoxte island).

In late October Nicholas Hellmuth found Bletia purpurea a water-related orchid which flourishes between one and two meters away from the shore. Since most people had not previously seen a “water-related orchid” they simply did not believe it. So Hellmuth and the team from FLAAR Mesoamerica returned to Yaxha in the last week of November 2018 and noted that the orchids had their roots wrapped around “tule” root masses, but at the level of the water. We found that several of the Bletia purpurea orchids had roots which were clearly down in the water. We will document this in a separate FLAAR report. The point is that there may be more than one genus of orchids of Guatemala which are associated with water.

However during two days in the November field trip we did not yet found any Habenaria orchids (probably because the reeds are so thick, that unless an orchid is in full bloom they would not be noticeable).

But sooner or later we estimate that Habenaria orchids will be found around the lakes and/or river in Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo.

  • Habenaria bractescens
  • Habenaria crassicornis
  • Habenaria monorrhiza
  • Habenaria repens
  • Habenaria strictissima
  • Habenaria distans
  • Habenaria alata
  • Habenaria clypeata
  • Habenaria entomantha
  • Habenaria eustachya
  • Habenaria limosa
  • Habenaria novemfida
  • Habenaria pauciflolia
  • Habenaria quinqueseta

PDF, Articles, Books on Habenaria orchids to encourage searching for them in Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo.

  • BATISTA, Joao, Karina, BORGES, Marina, DE FARIA,
    Karina, PROITE, RAMALHO, Aline, SALAZAR, Gerardo
    and Cássio VAN DEN BERG
  • 2013
  • Molecular phylogenetic of the species-rich genus Habenaria (Orchidaceae)
    in the New World based on nuclear and plastid DNA sequences. Molecular
    phylogenetics and evolution. Vol. 67, No. 1. Pages 95-109.

    Available Online:
  • DIX, Margaret and Michael DIX
  • 2000
  • Orchids of Guatemala: a revised annotated checklist. Missouri Botanical Garden Press.
    61 pages.
  • NOGUERA, Eliana and William CETZAL
  • 2014
  • Revisión e integración del conocimiento de las Orchidaceae de Tabasco, México. Botanical Sciences. Vol. 92, No. 4. Pages 519-540.

    Available Online:


Suggested webpages with photos and information on Habenaria orchids from Yaxha

Photo and information of Habenaria bractescens.

Photos of Habenaria crassicornis.

Photo and information of Habenaria monorrhiza.

Photos and information of Habenaria repens.

Photo and information of Habenaria strictissima.


First posted, November 2018
Bibliography prepared by Marcella Sarti, FLAAR Mesoamerica


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