Organized by our colleague and palm biologist Carlo Morici, the first meeting of Botanic Gardens of the Canary Islands took place at the Palmetum of Santa Cruz de Tenerife between December 19 and 20, 2017. This botanic garden has one of the most extensive living collections of palms in the world. The meeting had oral presentations from botanists and horticulturists from the Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo (Juli Caujapé Castells), Reserva Botánica del Oasis Park (Stephan Scholz), Parque Etnográfico Pirámides de Güimar (David Valcárcel Ortiz), Jardín de Aclimatación de La Orotava (Alfredo Reyes), Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias (Manuel Caballero) y Palmetum de Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Carlo Morici).
Our Fairchild researcher and FIU Professor, Javier Francisco-Ortega was invited to this event where he delivered a talk highlighting our Caribbean palm conservation initiatives. Our Caribbean palm program is being developed in partnership with Caribbean colleagues from the Jardín Botánico Nacional of the Dominican Republic (Brígido Peguero and Francisco Jiménez); the Cayes Botanic Garden, Haiti (William Cinea); the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, The Bahamas (Ethan Freid); the Jardín Botánico de Copaynicú, Cuba (Rául Verdecia); and the Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática, Cuba (Ramona Oviedo and Lisbet González).
On behalf of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Javier Francisco-Ortega was also invited to plant an individual of the Critically Endangered Cuban palm Coccothrinax pauciramosa in the living collections of the Palmetum. This planted palm represents a recognition to the legacy and current activities of Fairchild in promoting Caribbean palm studies and conservation.
Photos: Javier Francisco-Ortega planting an individual of Coccothrinax pauciramosa (top; photo credit: Agar Lorenzo) and delivering his talk on Caribbean palm conservation in botanic gardens (middle; photo credit: Mariano Melchor). Meeeting participants at the Palmetum gardens (bottom; photo credit: Agar Lorenzo).