Newsletter August 2023


NEW PLANT DISCOVERED IN EL CHARCO DEL INGENIO

. Viridantha minuscula, a species of Bromeliad with no previous record

The discovery of new plant species is not common nowadays, especially in populated territories studied by botanists for centuries, such as the region of San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato. For this reason, the scientific description of a new plant species, already confirmed by specialized scientific institutions, is very relevant news. The plant was described from a specimen collected for the first time by a group of experts in botany. Similar to other species of the bromeliad family, it turned out to be a new species of the genus Viridantha, according to studies carried out by experts and that will soon be published in the international scientific journal Phytotaxa. Phytotaxa.

This small plant only measures 8 cm in height including its inflorescence, which stands out for the striking pinkish color of its bracts, key to its taxonomic differentiation, as well as its rupicolous habitat (it grows on the rocks). Because it is the first formal study of this new species, it is considered micro-endemic to El Charco del Ingenio, with very low numbers of it’s individuals it will require population and ecology studies in order to know more about the species. It is essential that society and decision makers value the importance of the description of new species for floristic and conservation studies of the natural world.  

This description is possible thanks to the collaboration of the specialist in the genus Dr. Rodrigo Hernández Cárdenas and the pioneer botanists in Mexico specialists in the Bromeliaceae family Adolfo Espejo and Ana Rosa López Ferrari of the Metropolitan Herbarium of the Autonomous Metropolitan University-Iztapalapa who for decades have studied the Mexican flora and to the Walter L. Meagher Herbarium (The Herbarium of the Botanical Garden) in collaboration with the M.Sc. Jose Viccon and M.Sc.Nelly Sandoval.


MESQUITE COMMUNITY FESTIVAL

Saturday August 5 / 12:30pm - 5:00pm

Admission: 150 pesos

Children under 10 free
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You are invited to celebrate the abundance of the semi-desert and learn about the importance of mesquite in the local ecosystem, its ethnobotanical history, the harvesting and processing of the pods for the production of delicious foods with high nutritional density, and about the potential for integration into regenerative agriculture systems.

This resilient and adaptable native tree has a rich ethnobotanical history and has great potential to become a staple food crop in arid regions of the world, mitigating the effects of climate change and providing food security in the face of desertification, water stress and climate instability.

Sweet and nutritious mesquite pods have been one of the most important staple foods of the indigenous peoples of the arid zones of the continent for thousands of years, being an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and essential amino acids such as lysine. Mesquite has the potential to become a strategic element in the revitalization of ecosystems and to provide food security for the populations of the arid and semi-arid zones of Mexico.


ART EXHIBIT “NOSTALGIA FOR NATURE” MARIBEL PORTELA

Starting July 28th

BOTANICAL GARDEN INTEPRETIVE HALL

We are pleased to present the recent work, especially prepared for El Charco del Ingenio, by this renowned Mexican plastic artist, whose creativity exceeds the limits of conventional artistic activity. Her work is closely related to nature, which she uses as a formal and symbolic vehicle to display transformation processes through our interaction with it. As a result of this link, Maribel Portela's sculpture builds artificial organic prototypes and models. Manipulating common and natural materials, the artist builds natural imaginaries, whose infinite forms incite a playful and provocative experience in the viewer, in the form of aesthetic utopias of a world that is succumbing.

Maribel Portela has a very extensive artistic career: more than 43 individual exhibitions plus participation in more than 100 collective exhibitions, both in Mexico and cities in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the United States. She is a member of the National System of Creators since 2001, has carried out artistic residencies outside the country and her collections are found in various museums in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Denmark, Canada and the United States.


TIBETAN MONKS IN THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

Sunday August 13 and 20 / 10am / Free admission

Since 2004, when the XVI Dalai Lama declared El Charco del Ingenio, along with five other sites in Mexico, a Zone of Peace, the monks from Tibet have made several ceremonial visits to the Botanical Garden. The public is invited to this beautiful ceremony of healing of nature and universal communion. To participate, simply register at the Visitor Center on the day of the event.


THE HERBARIA OF MEXICO IN EL CHARCO DEL INGENIO

El Charco del Ingenio invites curators and staff that make up Mexican herbariums to participate in the National Meeting of Herbariums to be held at the Botanical Garden, in San Miguel de Allende, on August 28, 29 and 30. The purpose of this meeting will be the digitization, database management and assessment of botanical collections.

More information: bit.ly/41BaQ2Y


IN OCTOBER: THE BOTANICAL GARDENS OF MEXICO IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE

Botanical gardens play a fundamental role for plant conservation and environmental education.

The Mexican Association of Botanical Gardens (AMJB) was founded in 1980 and since then, it convenes and integrates the botanical gardens of the country to promote the relationship between them and reaffirm their participation with society. It also organizes an annual meeting where, through presentations, workshops and assemblies, criteria and decisions are unified for the achievement of common objectives

To take place during October 3 – 7 El Charco del Ingenio-Jardín Botánico

More information: https://elcharco.org.mx/xxxvi-reunion-anual-y-asamblea…/


THE TREES IN CHARCO DEL INGENIO

“palo dulce”
Eysenhardtia polystachya
Fabaceae

Medium sized, deciduous tree, growing on stony hill- sides and the edges of water currents, gen- erally in the limits of the high oak forests (altitudes above 1900 meters). Its fine foliage sprouts at the beginning of the rainy season, after which the delicate white flowers appear, deliciously fragrant, attracting bees and other insects. Populations of palo dulce are still abundant in the State of Guanajuato, though their communities are drastically diminishing due to immoderate clearing and cutting.
It is highly appreciated for construction due of the hardness of its wood, especially as fence posts. It is a melliferous, fodder and medicinal species. Its bark, macerated in water, is given to poultry as a disinfectant, as well as being used to leather tanning.
Under the protection of El Charco del Ingenio the populations of palo dulce have made a remarkable comeback, many growing on the slopes of the canyon, as well as in the northern scrub area, where thousands of young individuals prosper.


EL CHARCO DEL INGENIO, A STRENGTHENED CITIZEN PROJECT

Soon it will be 32 years of this beloved citizen, self-managed, Mexican and independent project, which has received multiple certifications, recognitions and above all has been consolidated and strengthened over the years. 

We invite you to enjoy this video and share it with your friends.


NEW PUBLICATION!

FLORES SIVESTRES DE EL CHARCO DEL INGENIO (Wildflowers Of El Charco del Ingenio)

This field guide to the flowers that sprout in the reserve is a tool for researchers and nature lovers, which also contributes to the efforts to promote and defend Mexico's biocultural heritage.

ASK FOR THIS BOOK ON YOUR NEXT VISIT TO THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

  


EL CHARCO DEL INGENIO: MEMBER OF BOTANIC GARDEN CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL (BGCI) BOTANIC GARDEN CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL (BGCI)

Since 2005, El Charco del Ingenio has been part of Botanical Garden Conservation International , the largest network of botanical gardens and plant conservation experts in the world. Based in London,England, this organization brings together a large number of botanical gardens in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to link members to create global participatory strategies in order to ensure plant diversity, for the well-being of people and the planet.

In a country like Mexico, whose geography comprises an enormous biotic wealth, botanical gardens play a fundamental role in the knowledge and conservation of biocultural heritage.


NATURAL HISTORY TOURS IN ENGLISH

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am

Ticket: 150 pesos per person / 100 pesos members


CHARCO BIRDWALKS


ART AND SCIENCE IN THE BOTANICAL GARDEN
NEW SET OF 12 POSTCARDS: BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS OF EL CHARCO

Graphic work of four creative women from San Miguel de Allende:

Marijose Marín, Marisol Guerrero, Paquina Langenscheidt and Rocío Ríos

Available in our gift shop: 300 pesos

NEW IZCUINAPAN REGIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY HALL IN THE HISTORICAL MUSEUM. MIGUEL MALO ZOZAYA COLLECTION

The Botanical Garden shares and celebrates with the association Amigos del Museo this new exhibition space of the archaeological heritage of San Miguel de Allende, which was inaugurated last October in the "Casa de Allende Museum". The Sala Izcuinapan already exhibits the valuable archaeological collection gathered by Miguel Malo Zozaya, who for years studied and disseminated regional pre-Hispanic history, especially that which flourished during a period of a thousand years in the middle section of the Laja River.

After 50 years in which most of this collection left San Miguel de Allende, this extraordinary collection has returned to be safeguarded, studied, restored and exhibited permanently in the Museum.

This great effort towards recovering such important heritage derives from the confluence of diverse participants: historians, archaeologists, restorers, museographers, photographers,

designers, draftsmen, activists ..., a vast collective work with the support of INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) and local donors.