What Is The National Flower of Bolivia?
Kantutaand Patuju are the national flowerof Bolivia. Cantuabuxifoliais the scientific name of Kantuta and it is commonly known as Qantu, Qantus or Qantuta in Peru. Kantuta is also called the sacred flower of the Incas. Kantutais native to the Andes of Peru and Bolivia between twelve-hundred meters directly above sea level and thirty-eight-hundred. It is believed that the sacred essences of Incas found in it is what made water stay pure longer.
Bolivia has 2 distinct cultures because it has 2 different capital cities. It also has 2 different national flowers – Kantuta and Patuju. Kantuta represents the culture of the west and Patuju represents the culture of the east.
Facts about Bolivia’s National Flower (Kantuta)
- Common Name: Qantu, Qantus,Qantuta, The sacred flower of the Incas, Flor Del Inca (Spanish for “flower of the Inca”), Magic-flower, Magic-flower-of-the-Incas, Magictree
- Genus: Cantua
- Species: buxifolia
- Found in: high valleys of the Yungas
- Color: White, yellow, pink, and intense red
- Number of petals: 5-10
- Form of the tree: small branchy, bush
- Time of blooming: Late Spring/Early Summer
- Purpose: Ornamental and medicinal
- Foliage: Evergreen
The plant of this flower is a sort of small branchy and bushy that grows two to three meters high. The flower looks like an elongated bell. It can be found in white, yellow, pink, and intense red. It is considered as a ceremonial flower. It is believed that when the Inca joined in a ritual or ceremony his road was decorated with these flowers like a carpet. It is a sign of high opinion. The Kantuta flower was used in the warachicuy too. It is great ritual of the coming of age.
It ornamented the foreheads of the young people who had to experience tests of valor and physical resistance in order to pass into maturity and become considered as warriors. After the end of the Inca Empire, the use of the Kantuta continued. At the beginning of the 20th Century, this flower was typically used for funeral ceremonies. People believed that the dead people during their journey to the nether world could quench their thirst by drinking the nectar of this flower.The high plateau inhabitants, the altiplano, in the neighboring state of Puno and Bolivia, made necklaces of Kantutas which they would dangle on their doorways.
It is a symbol of hospitality and for welcoming the visitors. Now-a-days, the females of the islands in Lake Titicaca, mainly those who are single, are maintaining the tradition of wearing a hat that looks like the form of a Kantuta flower. Because of doing this, at the time of various celebrations the young people have no trouble understanding who are young, unmarried women. They can easily select them for courtship.People place Kantutaflowers on the slopes of the sacred mountain as a sign of respect and appreciation.
From the times of the Peru ancestors, the Kantuta has had a very significant role in the life of Cuzco’s people and neighbors. Today it is the national flower of both Bolivia and Peru.It is also used for colorful decoration. Thin branches of this flower plant are used to make baskets and from the leaves a yellow dye is obtained. The Kantuta is said to have medicinal properties too.
People believe that it fights diarrhea when its stem of leaves are consumed as infusions. Cough, jaundice, and inflammation of the eyes are also cured by it. The red and green color of the Bolivian flag is same as Kantuta and Patuju.
To sum up, The Kantuta and The Patuju continue as an essential part of the beautiful landscape and, many other things of beauty in Bolivia. They have lots of significance and pragmatic benefits. That’s why they have become the national flower of Bolivia.