Palma Corcho, remnant of Jurassic flora in Cuba survives after hurricanes
- Submitted by: admin
- Travel and Tourism
- Pinar del Río
- Science and Technology
- 04 / 14 / 2009
Specimens of the the Palma Corcho (Cork Palm), curious remnant of Cuba's Jurassic flora, still survive in the Cuban easternmost province of Pinar del Rio despite tropical storms.
The microcycas calocoma, an authentic fossil contemporary with dinosaurs, can only be found in Cuba in Pinar del Rio, where it survives as a botanical treasure thanks to preservation programs.
The Cork Palm grows on limestone mogotes and mountain ranges like Alturas de Pizarra, one of the earliest mountain formations of the Cuban archipelago.
This Palm tree owes its name to its soft, spongy trunk that grows an average of 5.6 cm.
Its stalk, also called pencas, look like a green crown that grow from the top of the trunk in all directions around and are one meter long.
Indiscriminate felling and destruction of its habitat throughout the 20th century severed its population but Vinales National Park Director Jose Luis Corvea said it has remained safe in the park.
The Cork Palm was declared National Monument in 1989. Today it can be found at Soroa Orchid Garden and at the local botanical garden.