The beautiful plant can be seen in Estepona / Orquidario Estepona

Unique black orchid in bloom in Estepona this month

Its flowers, which are about five centimetres in size, change colour during the day from chocolate brown to deep black

ESTHER GÓMEZ Estepona

Visitors to the orchidarium in Estepona at the moment can see a unique species of orchid called Fredclarkeara After Dark, whose flowers change colour as the day passes.

The curator of the orchid park, Manuel Lucas, says it is rare to find this colour in other plants and that the intensity of the black in this case depends on the amount of light the plant receives at the time it blooms: the less light there is, the more intense the colour of the flowers. In the case of the example in Estepona, they are chocolate brown in mid-morning and start to get darker from midday onwards.

The Fredclarkeara After Dark will be in flower for a month, and it has a stem which can hold up to 15 flowers, each measuring about five centimetres. To achieve this colour which makes it so unusual, the experts have had to perfect the cross-breeding with different species and hybrids from the Catasetum, Clowesia and Mormodes genres.

Lucas says that winter is an exceptional period when different species come into flower, and at the moment visitors to the orchid park can also see varieties such as ‘the ant lover’ and the Dendrobium spectabile, which have spectacular coloured flowers.