Cayman mom compares mothers to Cayman’s Wild Banana Orchid | Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

Those who are lucky enough to know Decia Foster know that she has a deep love for flowers, her children and her country.

The outspoken Caymanian mother of two beautiful girls- Valencia and Naomi- gets especially excited this time of year, not just because of mother’s day, but because it is that time for her beloved Cayman Brac Wild Banana Orchid to come into bloom.

“Extending a Happy and Blessed Mother’s Day to every woman who has played a nurturing, loving, educational and mentoring role in the lives of the people around them,” she posted via social media, on Mother’s Day morning, sharing a photo of her Cayman Brac Wild Banana Orchids in bloom.

The National flower of the Cayman Islands, the Wild Banana Orchid (Myrmecophila thomsoniana) which is only found locally is considered to be the most unique and recognizable of all of Cayman’s indigenous plant species and is one of the 26 varieties of orchids that are native to Cayman.

The Wild Banana Orchid in Grand Cayman looks different than that in the sister islands. The flower on Grand Cayman has white blossoms and purple lips (var. thomsoniana), whereas those on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are yellow in colour. But sadly, the endangered flower is threatened by accelerating habitat loss due to housing and tourism development. Luckily, the flower, which is on the IUCN red list, receives protection under the National Conservation Law.

Decia believes that- like the endangered Wild Banana Orchid- the love of a mother is rare.

“When thinking of this flower, it is representative of many qualities we find in the Mom figures in our lives,” she says.

Here are Decia’s four reasons why:

1) Rarity

“With all of the orchids in the world, this is one of the rarest,” Decia says. “Like Moms, they must be protected at all costs!”

2) Dependability

“These orchids are in bloom every year around Mother’s Day, like Moms, you can rest assured that they will always be there when you need them,” says Decia of the indigenous plant which blooms between April and May each year.

3) Resilience

Says Decia: “With all of the storms and environmental threats faced by these orchids, like Moms, they’re strong and super resilient!”

The Wild Banana Orchid can withstand temperatures from 33F to 100+F with very little water and grow in dry forests and shrublands. Like mothers, they can handle the heat!

4) Vibrant

The Wild Banana orchid is known for its long banana-like bulbs that turn yellow in the sunshine.

“Like Moms, these orchids bring a sense of happiness just by looking at them and being around them. The deep hue of yellow and the luxurious purple lip, there sure is nothing else like it,” Decia describes.

One thing is for sure- the Cayman Islands community would not be what it is if it was not for the love of mothers like Decia, and its natural resources and biodiversity– of which the graceful and beautiful Wild Banana Orchid plays a critical role.

Happy Mothers Day!