Tropical Plants of Vallarta
Hundreds of tropical plant varieties contribute to the lushness of Puerto Vallarta. It’s as though the surrounding jungle has crept down into the cobblestone streets and neighborhoods all around Banderas Bay giving us shade from the hot sun, palm fronds for our palapas, fruit for our tables, and a softening of the landscape. Many of the plants here are also common to southern California, Florida and Hawaii which is on the same latitude as us. Then there are many plants only specific to Mexico and to Vallarta depending on the altitude and the different microclimates.
To get a true appreciation of the hundreds of plant species of this area, one must visit the Vallarta Botanical Garden just 30 minutes south of Vallarta. Established in 2005, it has continued to expand to include some of the most beautiful and in some cases rare orchids, bromeliads, palms, ferns, rhododendrons, flowering vines, cacti, water plants, and much more.
The beautification of Vallarta through public landscaping is the mission of the Puerto Vallarta Garden Club. Over the past few years, they have donated and planted tens of thousands of new plants along the busiest streets in the Centro and Emiliano Zapata neighborhoods. For the 100 year anniversary of Puerto Vallarta this year, they completely re-landscaped the main plaza, located in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, the iconic landmark of this beautiful city.
All of their projects are funded by annual memberships and private donations, and all plantings are done by experienced volunteers. If you walk along Basilio Badillo, Olas Altas, the Pier street (Francisca Rodriguez), Insurgentes, Avenida Mexico and many other streets in the area, you will see all of their many bougainvilleas and hundreds of donor-supported planter boxes. More info www.vallartagardenclub.com
A handy guidebook for visitors and gardeners to help identify the local flora is “Tropical Plants and Walks of Puerto Vallarta “ by Sandra Cesca, local guide, author, and photographer. With over 200 full color photos, names in English, Spanish, and Latin, and information about the medicinal indigenous uses of some plants, this is a handy resource, organized by color, for those interested in learning more. Found at Page in the Sun Books and Vallarta Botanical Garden. Sandra can also be seen guiding walking tours through the streets of Puerto Vallarta. Her tours feature small groups that allow for personal attention and the ability to visit and meet with local shop owners and artisans. Learn more or book a tour by clicking here!