Dr. Larry Noblick, Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) palm biologist, was invited to speak at the recent symposium, Research for the Development of Palms in South America. The symposium focused on the diversity and richness of palms by country and the state of taxonomy in the genera of major importance. Dr. Noblick presented two talks: The Palms of Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina; and another on the genus, Syagrus, which Dr. Noblick has studied for over 25 years. Dr. Noblick also participated in two workshops, which presented objective methods for determining the conservation status of South American palms.

Following the seminar, the group visited palm populations in the northern Andes including areas near Gocta Falls, where many palm species remain undescribed. Dr. Noblick studied populations of an undescribed species of Ceroxylon and an Attalea not believed to be in cultivation. The group also visited a large reserve, finding Aiphanes weberbaueri and the rare Aiphanes spicata.

“The Peru symposium was an excellent opportunity for MBC to build collaborative relationships with the palm scientific community,” said Dr. Noblick. “Equally important was the educational opportunity to share our knowledge with the graduate students in attendance.”