Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Most people associate bamboo with Asia - particularly China where some species famously serve as panda bear food - but Mexico is also rich in bamboos with dozens of native species. One of these, Chusquea liebmannii E. Fournier (known locally as carricillo), only blooms once every 30 to 40 years.
Right now happens to be one of these special moments. Even when it's not in bloom, this plant is easy to identify by the root thorns that extend out from its nodes. Another noteworthy characteristic of this plant is that it is one of only a couple of bamboos in the world that is not hollow.
We learned more about this plant during the recent visit of a pair of botanists, Dany Ramos (San Diego Zoo) and Dr. Eduardo Ruiz-Sanchez (University of Guadalajara) who visited us during their research sojourn throughout the republipreceding their participation in the World Bamboo Congress in Xalapa, Veracruz.
They were delighted to see plenty of Chusquea liebmannii blooming in the Garden's forest preserve and worked with the VBG's biologist and volunteers to prepare herbarium specimens to take back to their respective institutions. We at the Garden are always happy to help expand scientific knowledge about our natural world.Visit the internationally famous Vallarta Botanical Garden located just 30 minutes south of Old Town at Km. 24 on Highway 200 and easily accessible by public transportation and taxi. This 64 acre wildlife preserve and botanical garden have something fun for everyone. See plantings of vanilla, chocolate, and hundreds of other botanical delights, and don't forget to bring your swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the jungle river. The Garden is open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (closed Mondays from April 1 to December 1). Garden admission is just $200 pesos. Authentic Mexican Cuisine is served in the Hacienda de Oro Restaurant from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information, call (322) 223-6182 or visit vbgardens.org.
Click HERE to learn more about Vallarta Botanical Gardens.