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Palma corcho or Cork Palm
One of the most interesting scientific institutions in our province is the Botanical Garden, whose 112 hectares of brown soil are located near the road leading to El Cornito. Raul Verdecia, its director, is not only an enthusiast and expert on issues related to Cuban flora, but is also a member of a specialized group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  

Thanks to his dedication, the garden displays today the results of work that has become a benchmark for the rest of its counterparts nationwide. Among the projects its workforce have developed is saving and conserving the biodiversity found in the forefront of the reproduction of more than 80 endangered species, some of which, incidentally, are endemic to Cuba. Thus, varieties such as Yarey, yellow ebony and the acacia, among others of economic, environmental and pharmacological value, have found a paradise in the institution to reproduce at will.

One of the more exotic species from the Botanical Garden in this province is the cork palm, whose presence on the planet is over 250 million years. It is considered among the first flowering plants from the Jurassic era, and according to experts, is the oldest living fossil on the planet. In Cuba there are only a thousand cork palms. The law prohibits and punishes their sale. On the outside the colony is reduced to 10 specimens in the Botanical Garden in Miami.

While we talk of palms, Raul Verdecia, the helmsman of the institution in Las Tunas and expert on such plants, is a co-star of a great scientific event, nationally and internationally.  A couple of years ago he found along with his fellow Italian Carlo Morici, a Cuban palm species never seen before. It is number 88, among the nearly two thousand have been described in the world. This happened in Punta Guayacanes in Loma del Cuero, between Imías and Playitas of Cajobabo at Guantanamo, 50 km from Maisi.

Source: Periodico26

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