Fill Your Flower Shop with Blooms from Bogota

Colombia is one of the largest producers of flowers in the entire world, according to Slate. The country’s booming floral industry exports $1 billion dollars per year and ships 100,000 roses each day, mostly to flower shops in New York City and Miami. 65% of all cut flowers sold in US flower shops in 2013 came from Colombia, up from 55% a decade ago. That’s a lot of flowers! The surrounding Savanna area of Colombia’s capital city, Bogota is the epicenter of it all thanks to its warm climate and nearly perfect growing conditions.

Although classic roses and carnations are the most popular item, exotic flowers such as orchids and Birds of Paradise also get frequently shipped to the US. Here is some more information on popular Colombian flowers, to make your next shopping trip a bit easier. Hint: You may want to consider buying your mom pink carnations for Mother’s Day this Sunday.

Roses

Colombian roses make up the majority of all the flowers that get shipped to the US. They can be grown in 30 different colors and each color represents a different theme in Colombian culture, according to the country’s trade website. For example, white roses are given to brides on their wedding day, while yellow roses are placed on the graves of deceased friends and family. Classic red roses are a symbol of romantic love, making them an obvious choice for your next Valentine’s Day gift.

Carnations

Carnations have a rich history that dates back more than 2,000 years. Their first known use was in decorative ceremonial crowns in Ancient Greece, according to Teleflora. Today, they are a popular choice for all types of holidays thanks to their ability to be grown in almost any color. Pink carnations have been a classic Mother’s Day gift for many years, while green ones are often displayed on St. Patrick’s Day.

Colombia is the number one exporter of carnations in the world. Although Colombian roses are the most popular choice with American customers, their carnations are the most popular choice globally.

Orchids

Orchids are the exotic-looking, tropical flowers that you probably associate with beach vacations. Colombia has more native orchid species than any other country, which makes sense with its warm climate and location near the Equator. These flowers often come in bright vibrant shades of pink, purple, yellow and orange. Some species have pastel-colored flowers though.

The white orchid is the national flower of Colombia. The Colombian Academy of History, along with local botanist Emilio Robles chose it because they considered it one of the most beautiful flowers in the world.

Those are just a few of the Colombian flowers that are sold in shops in the US. Next time you go shopping for your special someone, you will know the stories behind some of the common flowers and you can use that to influence your final purchase.

Vanessa Arnold