PLANT DISPLAYS

 
   
  The Agave Garden. This open-air space next the Conservatory is dedicated to the botanical family Agavaceae, plants commonly known as maguey. More than 60 species of Mexican agaves are represented. Their many uses (food, drink, fibers, medical remedies) are as varied as their forms and sizes, from the enormous Century plants and tall yuccas, to the most delicate small and wild specimens.  
   
 

The Nopal Garden. Also by the Conservatory, this sample (in establishment period) is dedicated to Opuntia, ample genera of the Cactaceae family. Original from the American continent, these plants are emblematic of Mexico, where more than 80 species and 30 subspecies have been registered. An essential food for the fauna, nopales have also been eaten by humans for millennia (stems and fruits), serving as a medicinal plant and a living fence as well. Along with native species of El Charco, this display (sponsored by local resident George Michelson) includes collected samples from various regions in Mexico –donated by researcher Leia Scheinvar from the botanical gardens of the National University.
 
 

Rescued Plants Displays. These are areas containing specimens and groups of cacti and other succulent flora in some category of risk. They have been collected or obtained in salvage operations after the construction of hydroelectric reservoirs, highways and real-estate developments that destroyed the natural habitats of important populations of plants. There are two main exhibition areas. One is near to the Conservatory and hosts groups of cacti from the San Miguel region. A wider display of rescued flora can be seen on the slopes at the West side of the Garden, showing groups of rescued plants from other nearby arid zones. Some of these specimens are very old and large.