Medicinal Orchids of Central America

  • Eng Soon Teoh


Whereas looted gold and silver only enriched the conquistadors and their sponsors, plants from Meso- and South America have greatly enriched the world. Vanilla planifolia is the first orchid from the New World to be described. It was by far the most important orchid species and it has remained so. It was first described in the Codex de la Cruz-Badianus authored by two Catholic natives: la Cruz wrote in Nahuatl and illustrated and Badianus translated into Latin this first book on medicinal herbs of Meso-America. More orchids were described by Bernardino de Sahagun and Francisco Hernandez de Toledo during the sixteenth century. This chapter describes 45 orchid species with non-ornamental usage in Central America from the pre-Hispanic to the post-Hispanic periods.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eng Soon Teoh
    • 1
  1. 1.SingaporeSingapore

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