New Agave Identified in Mexico SEARCH NEWS

Agave muxii  ©GESG

Following the successful containment of a fire earlier this week, GESG share more good news as a new species of Agave is revealed.

Agave muxii  was discovered by botanist, Dr Sergio Zamudio and described in his paper here. In it, he describes the plant as, “distinguished from the other species of the group by its robust inflorescence, covered densely by purple bracts from the base to the apex, and by its flowers, stamens and anthers dyed purple.” Roberto Pedraza Ruiz, Director of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG) , who has seen the plant in the wild, says that the new species does indeed have, “a very unusual and unique flower structure.”

Roberto Pedraza Ruiz and Agave muxii  ©GESG

Roberto Pedraza Ruiz and Agave muxii  in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve ©GESG

The species is a micro-endemic, growing only in a very small and particular region of Querétaro, home to the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve. However, it grows in several summits within Cerro Prieto Reserve, which meant that upon successfully controlling the fire earlier this week, Roberto was able to take a short hike to the summit of the peak where he found  Agave muxii  alongside another species discovered by Dr Zamudio and Roberto in 2018,  Mammillaria rzedowskiana, a small cactus with bright pink flowers and fine white thorns.

Agaves and oak © GESG

Agaves and oaks in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve © GESG

Roberto previously spoke to World Land Trust about how the firefighting efforts this week protected ancient cedar and oak trees. By stopping its spread, they also prevented it from destroying part of the very small population of these recent plant discoveries. It truly is the ongoing daily conservation management of our partner’s reserves that protects the land and species within it. You can help them to continue this work during the outbreak of Covid-19 by supporting rangers through Keepers of the Wild. They are continuing to work around the world, ensuring the safety and future of these vulnerable habitats.


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