21 | NOV | 2019
New magnolia species discovered in Mexico
In ancient cultures magnolias were appreciated for their medicinal uses, among other things - Photo: Taken from the University of Guadalajara's official Twitter page

New magnolia species discovered in Mexico

13/03/2019
17:10
Notimex
Mexico City
UdeG
-A +A
The new species is called Magnolia yajlachhi (“flower of the heart”) and was found in the Juárez mountain range

Specialists from the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) reported the existence of a new species of magnolia in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, a flower with cultural, medicinal, and productive uses.

This new species is called Magnolia yajlachhi (“flower of the heart” in Zapotec) and the experts will work toward its preservation, since it was been identified as in a "critical" situation due to its difficult germination and the presence of predators such as birds and rodents.

In a statement, the scientists highlighted the importance of the discovery and the benefits it offered. In ancient cultures magnolias were appreciated for their medicinal uses, among other things.

The petals of the roasted magnolias were also used in corn atole, as it gave a special flavor to cocoa. It was also used as an ornament in religious ceremonies.

After nine years of studying the flower of the heart, its description was concluded, and a scientific article was published, which is now available online. The experts will now seek to perform molecular studies of the new magnolia, in addition to working on biogeographical and ecological issues.

In contrast with the Mexican magnolia, the yajlachhi magnolia has subglobose (almost round) fruits, and a different seed color.

José Antonio Vázquez García, an academic from the Department of Botany and Zoology of the University Center of Biological and Agricultural Sciences (CUCBA) explained that this plant provides shade for the coffee tree.

He said that it is possible to promote the concept of protected coffee trees under the shade of magnolias in Mexico, which adds to the commercialization and production value of coffee.

The discovery of the flower of heart occurred because the father of Reyna Domínguez Yescaf, a PhD student in Biosistematics, Ecology, and Management of Natural and Agricultural Resources, planted two specimens in his home garden.
 

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