Guatemala National Flower and Facts

Raul Cornelius is a Senior Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA and a BCom, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities. Passionate about writing and photography, he enjoys early mornings with coffee and books, and nature bike rides during weekends.
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Ready to get into blooming heritage with our Guatemala National Flower and Facts guide? Stay tuned for the details!

Guatemala National Flower 1

Guatemala’s National Flower is the White Nun Orchid—a flower with a rich history and an incredible appearance.

Guatemala National Flower: The White Nun Orchid


Guatemala has a historic legacy and natural beauty and proclaims the White Nun Orchid (Monja Blanca) as the national flower. The White Nun Orchid is indigenous to Central America and flourishes in Guatemala, where it was designated as the national flower in 1934.

These orchid flowers have beautiful creamy white petals and reach up to 18 inches in height. They bloom primarily in spring and early summer and thrive in many different habitats, from lowland rainforests to mountainous regions. The flowers also hold a rich ecological role as they’re rich in nectar and attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the region, helping biodiversity and pollination. They also provide shelter for smaller fauna.

Botanical Name: Lycaste virginalis f. alba.  

Common Names: White Nun Orchid, Saq Hix, Monja Blanca

Guatemala National Flower Facts

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  • The White Nun Orchid was officially designated as Guatemala’s national flower in February 1934.
  • It was designated as per a suggestion by then president of the International Exhibition of Flowers in Miami Beach, Florida—Leticia M. de Southerland.
  • These orchids are known as Monja Blanca in Spanish, which means white nun. They’re named so because the flowers look like a nun dressed in white with the head bowed in prayer. The name Saq Hix comes from the Q’eqchi’ Mayan language.
  • The White Nun Orchids are epiphytic orchids and grow on other plants and trees. They’re slow growers and can take up to 15 years before flowering.
  • It’s a rare flower because it’s an albino variant and is protected by Guatemalan law. It stands for peace, purity, and the fertile wealth of Guatemala.

Cultivating White Nun Orchid: Expert Tips for Gardeners


Growing White Nun Orchids

If you’re growing these in your home, provide them with filtered or indirect sunlight and keep them where there’s a humidity of around 50-70% and a temperature of 60-70°F (15-21°C).

White Nun orchids do well in well-draining orchid mixes made with portions of bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss, as they need aeration for the roots. Try one of these recipes.

White Nun Orchid Care

Water these sparingly and let the top inch of the soil dry out before watering again so there’s no root rot due to overwatering or waterlogged soil. You can give them a good quality orchid fertilizer once in 2-4 weeks but only after diluting it to half its strength.

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