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What is Barkeria?

Misty Amber Brighton
Misty Amber Brighton

Barkeria, sometimes called bark, is a name used to describe a number of species of orchids that normally originate in Mexico. These flowers are usually white, lavender, or dark pink in color. The petals are often arranged in a star-shaped pattern. They are typically accompanied by long slender leaves that are medium to dark green in color.

These orchids are usually found on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. They may grow in areas very near the ocean, in wooded ravines, or along creek beds. Barkeria are most common in the states of Jalisco and Nayarit.

Barkeria are commonly seen in the Mexican states of Nayarit and Jalisco.
Barkeria are commonly seen in the Mexican states of Nayarit and Jalisco.

The flowers of barkeria orchids often vary in color. While lavender, white, and pink are the most common colors, blooms may also be yellow or red. Often the petals will have more than one color. Multi-colored flowers usually have petals that are mostly white with shades of lavender or pale pink around the edges.

There are usually four or five petals to each flower. The blooms are generally very long and slender with pointed ends. They may form a star shape around a round, protruding center. The bottom petal is often wider and shorter than the upper petals, with somewhat rounded sides.

The stems of a barkeria plant are typically very thick and rigid. They hold the leaves, which may be as long as three inches (8 cm). These leaves normally fall off at the beginning of winter and grow again in the spring.

Barkeria usually do not grow well when placed in direct sunlight. They normally prefer wooded areas, where light is filtered and shade from afternoon sun is provided. They also do not generally do well when placed in fully shaded areas.

These plants often grow up the sides of trees. The roots of barkeria will sometimes cling to the bark of a tree, and become affixed to it. They may occasionally attach themselves to tree ferns as well. They do not normally damage the plants they adhere to.

Barkeria do not normally grow well in containers unless they are very shallow. Gardeners may place a specimen inside the nook of a fallen tree branch and attach it gently with twine or string in order to grow a climbing orchid. They might also be attached to a small piece of cork, which could then be attached to the trunk of a tree. Over time, the plant will naturally attach itself to the tree, after which time, the cork can be removed.

These flowers usually have a very soft fragrance when in bloom. Their colorful blossoms can add a nice splash of color to an otherwise dull room. For this reason, they can also be a good choice for making flower arrangements or corsages.

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    • Barkeria are commonly seen in the Mexican states of Nayarit and Jalisco.
      By: Iryna Volina
      Barkeria are commonly seen in the Mexican states of Nayarit and Jalisco.