What Is The National Flower of Peru?

What Is The National Flower of Peru?

Cantuta is the national flowerof Peru. Cantuabuxifoliais the scientific name of Cantuta and it is commonly known as Qantu, Qantas, or Qantuta in Peru. Cantuta is also called the sacred flower of the Incas. Cantuta is 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 are what made water stay pure longer. People promoted its cultivation throughout Tawantinsuyo, the Inca Empire. They devoted it to the Sun, their god. In this way, it became known as the sacred flower of the Incas and the national flower symbol of Peru.

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 and is considered 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. The flower is a sign of high opinion. The Cantuta flower was used in the warachicuy too.

Facts About Peru’s National Flower (Cantuta)

  • 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, Magic tree
  • 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

It is a 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 warriors. After the end of the Inca Empire, the use of the cantata 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 cantatas which they would dangle on their doorways.

It is a symbol of hospitality and for welcoming the visitors. Nowadays, 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 cantata 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 cantuta flowers on the slopes of the sacred mountain as a sign of respect and appreciation. From the times of the Peru ancestors, the Cantuta 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 a colorful decoration. Thin branches of this flowering plant are used to make baskets and from the leaves, a yellow dye is obtained. The Cantuta is said to have medicinal properties too. People believe that it fights diarrhea when its stem of leaves is consumed as infusions. Cough, jaundice, and inflammation of the eyes are also cured by it.

To sum up, The Cantuta continues as an essential part of the beautiful landscape and, many other things of beauty in Peru. It has lots of significance and pragmatic benefits. That’s why Cantuta has become the national flower of Peru.


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