Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - A new species of magnolia was discovered by researchers at the University of Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta ecological groups, who seek to make it the Municipality's official flower and include it on the city's coat of arms.
José Antonio Vázquez García, a researcher at CUC's Agricultural Biological Sciences (CUCBA) Institute of Botany, reported that the new species was named Magnolia Vallartensis as it is endemic to the area and was discovered together with the director of Público Descentralizado Xihutla, Ricardo Diaz Borioli.
"The tree was first discovered in a condo and it was not apparent that it was a new species because a tree can be modified by fertilization and the management it could have had," Vázquez García explained. "So last week we went out to investigate and, on a hill near Mismaloya, we found a grove of just over 100 of these trees, which gives us confidence that this is a wild population of a new species of magnolia that we are calling Vallartensis Magnolia."
Vazquez Garcia stated that they have already started making the appropriate arrangements for the flower to be officially recognized by the name of "Vallarta," and to be published in the book Fronteras de Biodiversidad, in the 'New Neotropical Magnolia' chapter, where other species from Mexico to Peru are listed.
The specialist added that investigations will be made regarding the adaptability of the tree, and that they have submitted a proposal to make a path to the area where the magnolia trees are located, making it a tourist attraction and thereby ensuring their conservation.
"We do not know if this species has adapted to everywhere in the Banderas Bay region. We know that it grows in the south central area, but we have to experiment. Since this species of magnolia has the widest leaves in all of western Mexico, we'll have to see where else it can grow," he said.
In hopes that the new magnolia species will be designated as the Municipality's official flower and incorporated in the coat of arms, Vazquez Garcia will address the City Council at the upcoming meeting on August 29, 2012.Translated by the Banderas News Team