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Hacienda Chichen Resort Botanical Garden

Hacienda Chichen is committed to taking active measures to preserve, conserve, and enrich the flora and fauna habitats, aiming to increase diversity and protect the habitat of endemic wildlife. This responsible actions have stopped the illegal hunters within the property limits of white tail deer and other endangered animals (fauna); thus, increasing the safety of many endangered endemic species in the region, including families of kinkajous, oscillated turkeys, and white tail deer.  

Botanical Category Index 
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Yucatan Flora: Tropical Fruit Vines
Explore and Enjoy Hacienda Chichen Flora, Wildlife and Eco-Wonders
Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.
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Passion Fruit (English),  Poch'il (Maya),  Maracuya (Spanish).
Passiflora edulis - Family: Passifloraceae.

Passion fruit is a self pollinating vine that grows climbing with tendrils. Passion fruit vines' flowers are  very exotic and aromatic, filled with nectar, excellent butterfly and beeattractants. Fruits ripe in May and June; its pulp is used extensively in fruit juice drinks or in baked desserts. Its aromatic. At Hacienda Chichen the Passion Fruit vine grows yellow fruits.

Pitaya (English),  Pitahaya (Spanish),  Wob (Maya).
Hylocereus undatus - Family - Cactaceae

Native to Mexico. Pitaya vines grow in the tropics worldwide.  The cactus flowers at night in June and has aromatic colorful exotic fruits and meaty skin; pitaya's delicate translucent milky flesh has small edible seeds.  Fruit grows June to October. It is grown organically at the Hacienda Chichen by Mayan retired staff committed  to attend this green hotel's Organic Tropical Crops.

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Yucatan's Exotic Flowering Trees  
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Lush Tropical Gardens and Beautiful Flora
Hacienda Chichen, Chichen Itza, Yucatan
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Shaving Brush Trees (English), Chak Kuyché(Maya), Amapola (Spanish). Bombax ellipticumBombacaceae - Family: Kapok.

Passion fruit is a self pollinating vine that grows climbing with tendrils. Passion fruit vines' flowers are  very exotic and aromatic, filled with nectar, excellent butterfly and beeattractants. Fruits ripe in May and June; its pulp is used extensively in fruit juice drinks or in baked desserts. Its aromatic. At Hacienda Chichen the Passion Fruit vine grows yellow fruits.

Plumeria - Frangipani  Trees (English) Sac Nicte (Maya) Flor de Mayo (Spanish). Plumeria rubra - Family: Apocinaceae.

It is native to Mexico and South-America. Today this perfumed flowering tree is found in many tropical countries.  Plumeria trees bloom during the spring in Yucatan. Flowers have various tones from white, yellow, rose, and magenta. Plumeria trees grace the garden path leading to Old Saint Isidro Labrador Churchat Hacienda Chichen.

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African Tulip or Flame of the Forest Trees(English) Tulipan Chino (Spanish), Xukul Nicte(MayaSpathodea campanulata - Family: Bignoniaceae.

Native to tropical Africa, the first Tulip tree planted at Hacienda Chichen's Tropical Gardens was brought by Mrs. Carmen G.Rul Barbachano in the 1960s as a rare exotic flowering tree.  Today, the African Tulip or Flame or the Forest is an ornamental tree common in world tropical regions, It is an amazingly beautiful tree with crimson campanulate flowers and foliage.  Its exotic deeply bright orange-red flowers have striking golden yellow edges.  The flower cup holds rainwater and dew attracting hummingbirds, birds, and bats. Grows in full sun, and limestone-rich soil, and its seeds are propagated by wind, birds, and bats.

Golden Shower Trees (English) Lluvia de Oro(Spanish), 
Cassia fistulaFamily: Fabaceae.

native to southern Asia. A deciduous tree with pinnae leaflets (foliage), brought in the late 19th Century to Yucatan as an ornamental flowering tree; it is most striking during May when it is in full bloom. Flowers bloom in delicate golden-yellow drop clusters. Golden Shower seed pods are long dark brown sausage-like with woody exterior and stick molasses covering wafer shaped seeds,  abundant while blooming. Like the Royal Flamboyan, Golden Shower tree is a favorite in Mayan villages and Yucatan's urban avenues or parks, for its amazingly exotic looking and has truly whimsical beautiful  flowering bloom clusters gently dropping ever so graceful down its branches.  Golden Shower should not be confused with another member of the Fabaceae family the Golden Rain Tree or Lapacho amarillo (Spanish), Tabebuia chrysotricha, native to China, whose flower clusters grow upwards.

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Royal Poinciana Trees (English) Flamboyan Real (Spanish)
Poinciana regia - Family: Caesalpiniaceae.

Endemic to Madagascar. It grows wild in Yucatan, Mexico after its introduction in the late 19th Century.  In Yucatan, these beautiful flowering trees became favorite ornamental trees to grow near Mayan huts, villages, urban avenues, and parks.  Its orchid-shaped deep orange-red flowers are truly exquisite, one petal is different from the rest with a light tone and deep shades of orange magenta spot; flowers grow in clusters, blooms in May and summer the Flamboyan trees are fully covered with flowers without their pinnae leaflets (foliage). Flamboyan seeds grow in large "machete-like" hard pods.

Orchid Tree (English) Arbol de las Orquídeas (Spanish).
Bauhinia variegata - Family: Fabaceae (Bean).

The showy, fragrant flowers, 3-4 inches across (7-10 cm) bear 5 or 6 upward-arching stamens. At first, the blossoms are white with a dark pink central spot, but with age, the flowers turn into deep shades of magenta, lavender, or purplish blue. At Hacienda Chichen the Orchid-Tree blooms at the end of the rainy season (late fall) and eventually is laden with flattish seed pods, and foot-long legumes. Note the unusual leaf shape, which reminds some people of a  cow foot indented on both ends and others of butterflies with rounded wings. Flowers are edible in salads.

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Mayan Medicinal Plants and Sacred Trees

Ceremonial and Medicinal Flora to Maya People

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Yucatan's Lush Flora: Mayan Ethno-Botany in Hacienda Chichen,  Chichen Itza,  Mexico

The Maya ethno-medicine healing traditions (medicinal plants used by the Mayan Healers in the Peninsula of Yucatan and other Maya regions: Chiapas, Belize, Guatemala) are taught verbally by Mayan J-Men and actively practiced by Mayan healers from one generation to the next since Colonial times.  Mayan healers use Mayan holistic rituals and healing ceremonies with prayer, divination, ethno-medicine traditions, and guidance from their spiritual guardians that communicate through dreams and their holy Sas'tun (quartz) holistic messages to cure, purify, or cleanse a person.  Since the Spaniards burned almost all Mayan books and codices, J-Men and Mayan healers have little written records of their medicinal methods; today, few books by western writers have recorded some of the important Mayan ethno-medicine healing traditions, medicine plants, remedies, cures, and holistic practices. These are some of the sacred holistic Mayan flora in Yucatan, medicinal herbs, plants, roots, etc. use by J-Men or Mayan healers:

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Kapok, Ceiba Tree: Yaaxche (Maya).  
Ceiba pentandra is the most Sacred Tree to the Maya. Family: Bombacaceae.

Ceiba trees or Kapok trees produce a cotton-like fiber from their fruits, called by the Maya people "pochote," a highly valuable fiber for clothing since pre-Hispanic times. Commonly referred to in Yucatan as la Ceiba, the huge trees give their first crop of pochote after seven years.  Even today, Maya people honor the Ya'axche or Ceiba Tree as an energy connection with the Cosmos, Earth, and the Underworld; ever present in ceremonies and as a medicine plant, this beautiful tree is where the Maya Gods abide, and so do may forest supernatural creatures and energies. Young Ceiba trees have exotic-looking thorny green trunks.

Copal trees, or Pom  (Maya).
Protium copal - Family Burseraceae of torchwood trees.

Maya people highly value the Copal tree resin as a sacred incense in all their mystical ceremonies and sacred rituals.  Before harvesting the Copal resin, the Mayans celebrate Mayan rituals for the Aluxes (small supernatural creatures who live in and guard the Mayan forest). Mayan J-Men bless with great reverence their valuable copal resin, a highly combustible sap that hardens as it dries in golden milky amber-quartz-like chunks.

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Baalche' (Maya).
Lonchocarpus longistylus - Family: Pitter,  Fabaceae.

An evergreen semi-deciduous tropical hardwood tree, Baalche' is native to the Yucatan and Guatemala. Its trunk is straight with long thin branches spreading with dense foliage.  In Yucatan, the Maya fermented Baalche's bark, and added honey to create a sacred beverage since Pre-Hispanic times. Baalche'leafs are composite, impair-pinnate, with 15 oblong leaflets. Blooms in September as a papilionaceous, in clusters of small orchid purple-violet flowers.

Fiddlewood Trees (English), Barrabas (Spanish), Ya'ax Niik, or Yaxnik (Maya). Vitex gaumeri - Family: Verbenaceae.

Native to Yucatan, Mexico. "Ya'ax niik Che" (fiddlewood trees) is an endangered species that grows wild in Mayan dry forests. Blooms with clusters of small blue-purple flowers in April and May; its fruit has one large seed and stays with a green skin when ripe. The tree has palmately elliptic leaflets; and a thick grayish trunk. It is nowadays over cut, due to its valuable lumber. Since ancient times Maya J-Men Healers use its leafs in traditional healings, sacred ceremonies and rituals.

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Cafe Forastero Tree (English / Spanish), Siip' Che' or Sip -che' (Maya). Bunchosia swartzianaGriseb (white-bark) and Bunchosia glandulosa(dark-bark) - Family: Malpighiaceae.

Native to Yucatan, Mexico, the Sip-che' or Café forastero is an evergreen tree (shrub) that grows to be 2 meters tall; pale yellow flowers bloom in small clusters, petit red round fruits, leaves are similar to a fig family tree,  elliptic leaves shaped. Young Siip' che' branches are used by J-Men or Mayan Healers in most holistic cleansing rituals or "Limpias" to purify the aura of a person, spell evil winds or envies; J-Men and Mayan healers dip small bundles of leafs in holy water to sprinkle over a person to spell evil energies, then hits the wet branches over a person's ankles nine times to untied its energy to the underground forces, the two Sip-Che shrubs branches are essentially used in Mayan sacred ceremonies and Mayan holistic healings.

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Mahogany Tree (English), Cedro (Spanish), Kuyche' (Maya). Cedrela odorata - Family: Meliaceae.

 Native to the Yucatan Peninsula and Central America. Precious hardwood from the tropical regions, Mahogany or Cedro trees grow 20 meters high, the bark is rough with deep vertical indents; blooms in spring - summer clusters of small cream flowers and propagates with seeds capsules in woody seed pods, when opened look like brown wood flowers. 

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Dogwood Tree (English) Jabin  or Habin (Maya
Piscidia piscipula - Family: Fabaceae.

Native to the Yucatan Peninsula, Florida, and the Caribbean.  Jabin (Ja'abin) trees reach up to 20 meters tall; leaflets are elliptic in shape and alternated pinnately compounds; small pale lilac-pink flowers; pendant paper thin seed pods are pale cream colored and four-winged with rippled edges. Jabin tree bark is highly used by Mayan J-Men healers as a medicinal Mayan plant specially to help female's menstrual cycles.  Wood is heavily resistant to decay; its root bark extracts are medicinal as analgesic and antispasmodic properties.  Its blooms are an important source of pollen and nectar for bees in Yucatan, Mexico.

Corn or Maize (English), Maiz (Spanish), Nal (Maya).
 Zea mays - Family: Poaceae.

A sacred grass, Maize originated as a wild cereal grain domesticated by the Maya in Mesoamerica and spread among American natives.  To the Maya, Maize has spiritual connections with the creation of humankind by Mayan Gods, including Yumil Kaxob the Maize Maya God. Saka is a Mayan maize sacred ritual. There are many varieties of maize hybrids worldwide. Highly nutritious still used as a basic food produced in Mayan recipes.

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Yucatan's Flora:  


Wild Mayan Edible & Medicinal Plants

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Mayan Ethnobotany and Yucatan's Flora at Hacienda Chichen, Chichen Itza.
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Wild Cucumber Trees (English) also known as Candle Tree. Pepino de Arbol Silvestre(Spanish), Kat or Cat (Maya). 
Parmentiera edulis - Family: Bignoniáceas.

Native to Mesoamerica (South Mexico and Guatemala).  Evergreen fruit tree, grows with full sun, trifoliate leafs drop in clusters together; large cream color flowers bloom in April at the tip of Candle tree branches, the fruits are know as pepino kat in Yucatan always eaten cooked. The fruit is used in Mayan remedies to cure urinary track ailments. Bats propagates the fruits' seeds.

Trumpet Tree (English) Guarombo (Spanish).
Cecropia obtusifolia Bertol - Family: Cecropiaceae.

Native to Mexico guarombo trees grows wild in Yucatan. The tree trunk is thin hollow and has large leaflets; bats and birds propagated seeds.  Highly regarded by J-Men Maya Healers by its healing property. Mexico's IMSS (Federal Medical System) recognizes the Guarombo extract as a highly effective hypoglycemic treatment on Type 2 Diabetic patients; other nations are Cuba and Brazil.

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Piñuela Yucateca (Spanish) Jo’oyok or X' hoyoc(Maya)
Morinda yucatanensis Greenm - Family: Rubiaceae.

Slender shrub with narrow elliptic leaves, inflorescent clusters of pale off-white small five-petal flowers that have sessile globose clusters at leaf axils.  Its small fruits are shaped like mini-cactus bumps, yellow when ripen. "Piñuela Yucateca" shrubs grow commonly entangled with other plants. Mayan healers use it for digestive system healings and for Mayan "evil wind ailments."

Chaya - Spinach Tree (English), Chay (Maya) Chaya (Spanish).
Cnidoscolus chayamansa

Native to Yucatan, chaya is a highly nutritious shrub with valuable concentrations of minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. Organically grown Chaya shrubs have large leafs.  It is an evergreen that loves sunny areas.  Chaya blooms frequently with both male and female flowers bloom together. Young leaves  are used by Maya people much like spinach in traditional Mayan Cuisine.

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Rue (English), Ruda (Spanish), k'ak'as ich (Maya)
Ruta Graveolens - Family: Amaryllidaceae

Rue is a medicinal plant which has an origin of use within the ancient knowledge of Mayan healing, its main use within this is to relieve digestive problems, colic and anxiety. It is very important to emphasize that the doses of its use must be taken into account since in excess they can have a toxic consequence on the body of any living being. On the other hand, the J-men (Maya priests) used it to purify the environment and thus communicate with their gods.

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Habanero Chilis (English), Chiles Habanero(Spanish).
Capsicum chinense - Family: 

A 100% Yucatan, native to the Yucatan where it is grown commercially; the term "chinense" is misleading not a true geographic reference. Habanero chili has green, yellow, and orange skins when ripe; considered to be the world's hottest chili, ranking 250,000 -350,000 Scoville Heat Units. Habanero chili are perennial plants that enjoy 5-6 pH acid, humid soil, and full sun. Highly valued for chili sauces and traditional Mayan home recipes for their strong aroma, taste, and powerful nutrient qualities; birds love the taste and aroma of this chili fruit.

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Root Beer Shrub (English), or Mexican pepperleaf, Hoja Santa (Spanish), X-mak-ulam (Maya) - Piper auritum - Family: Piperaceae.

Native to Meso-America, Hoja Santa is a shrub that grows wild in Yucatan, it is common in many Mayan village huts as a healing aid and nutritious leaf to cook with.  Each leaf is shaped like an oval heart and some plants have huge 20 cm long leaves that smell and taste a bit like anise and nutmeg combined with a hint of peppermint. Highly used at Yaxkin Eco-Spa.

Mexican Tea (English), Epazote  (Spanish). 
Dysphania ambrosioides formally known as Chenopodium ambrosioides. Family: Amaranthaceae.

A Mexican indigenous herb with serrated leaves resembling overgrown spearmint. Strong flavor and aroma. Epazote is among the essential herbs in Mayan Cuisine and has healing properties when taken as a light herbal tea. It is used for various digestive and intestinal problems by many ancient cultures throughout Mexico.

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Yucatan's Tropical Fruit Trees and 


Exotic Fruit Bushes

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Lush Tropical Gardens and Beautiful Flora, Hacienda Chichen, Yucatan.
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Sapote or Chico Fruit (English), Chicozapote o Sapote (Spanish), Cuyche (Maya). Manilkara zapota - Family Sapotaceae.

The original name: was Tzapotlis Nahuatl word. Sapote tree blooms from February to March, bearing light brown velvety fruits with soft creamy tan pulp, highly aromatic and with a delicious flavor.  Mayas value this tree for its highly-priced exotic hardwood, delicious fruits, and exuberant foliage; the tree grows wild or in man-made crops.

Mamey (English / Spanish) Mukuy ha'as(Maya)
Pouteria sapota - Family Sapotaceae.

Native to Mexico now grown all throughout Latin America. This large leaf tree has a solid trunk and branches forming a lush canopy, blooms during March and April, fruits are ripe from May to September.  The fruit very aromatic, velvety texture, bright burned-magenta-orange color, very aromatic and delicious sweet rich flavor; one elongated almond-like large shiny seed per fruit.

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Star Apple Tree (English), Caimito (Spanish). 
Chrysophyllum, exotic tropical fruit native to the Americas - Family: Sapotaceae.

The caimito tree has leaves with a glossy green upper-side and a velvety gold underside, the fruit when ripe has a deep dark purple silky skin, round soft body, upon cutting the fruit renders a gentle milky juice from its very aromatic and delicate sweet pulp.

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Chocolate Fruits (English) Sapote Negro(Spanish) Ta'uch (Maya).
Diospyros digyna - Family:

Native to Yucatan and Central America. Black sapote or chocolate fruit trees grow wild reaching.20 meters tall; lush evergreen foliage of glossy elliptic-oblong leaves. Chocolate fruit blooms off-white flowers; ripe fruits are shiny green persimmons with smooth skin and a chocolate tasty edible dark pulp. Birds and bats wild propagation. 

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Mango Tree (English / Spanish) Ok (Maya).
Mango belongs to the genus 
Mangifera, consisting of numerous species of tropical fruiting trees in the Family: Anacardiaceae.

Mango flowers bloom in terminal panicles. Mango fruit may take longer than three months to ripen. Hacienda Chichen's Lush Tropical Gardens have four varieties of mango trees, Haden and T.Atkins are resident wildlife and guests' favorite mango, especially kinkajous and many birds which enjoy the aromatic sweet flavor of ripe fruits during the summer.

Avocado (English), Um (Maya), Aguacate Silvestre (Spanish).
Persea americana - Family: Lauraceae.

Native to Mexico, grows in tropical climates mexican Avocados have been cultivated since pre-Hispanic times by Maya people and other civilizations Blooms from March to April and fruit from June to September. Leaves medicinal, fruit highly nutritious and deliciously velvety with delicate aroma and great flavor; one large seed per fruit, seed contains high concentration of valuable natural oils.  

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Geiger Tree (English), Ciritote (Spanish), K'oopte' (Maya).
Cordia dodecandra - Family:

Highly-priced hardwood, delightful fig-style wild fruit with a shelled nut flavor similar to an almond. Native to Mexico, the tree blooms from March to May and bears fruit during the summer, its small aromatic fruit is cooked to create sweet-compose and marmalades.  Ciricote wood is a highly valuable fine hardwood; its leaves are used for fine sanding including feet dry skin.  

Wild Papaya (English), Bonete (Spanish), Coahuayote (Naualt) K'uun che' (Maya). Jacaratia mexicana - Family: Caricaceae.

Native to Mexico wild slim and tall tree, with soft bark trunk and elliptic leaflets,  male and female flowers on separate trees (dioecious). Ripe Bonetes or wild papaya fruits have small seeds and distinctive large pendulous shapes that hang from leafless branches during May and June. Edible wild fruit with high nutritional value, pulp, and aroma similar to a yellow papaya.

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Papaya, (English/Spanish) Put (Maya)
Carica Papaya - Family: Caricaceae.

Papaya is native to the South of Mexico and Central America there are many varieties of Papaya fruit with different colors and sizes, all with rich aroma, nutrients, flavor, and enzymes helpful to skincare and calm indigestion. Papayas grow directly attached to the tree trunk near leaf stems (photo). Red Lady is a dwarf self-pollinating variety grown at Hacienda Chichen organic garden, fruits weigh 6 to 8 pounds, with excellent sweet flavor, aroma, color, and texture.

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Soursop (English), Guanabana (Spanish).
Annona muricata - Family:

Native to Latin America soursop has a sweet and tart custard-like pulp. The fruit are typically heart-shaped, and weigh up to ten pounds. They make superb milkshakes but can be eaten fresh as well. The trees are fast-growing, and they usually begin fruiting in just two years.

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Cherimoya (English), Annona (Spanish), Op (Maya).
Annona reticulata - Family: Annonaceae.

Native to Mexico tropical fruit tree blooms in the summer and fruits are ripe by October and November with highly aromatic white pulp with wet transparent meat that covers many almond-sized seeds; velvety pulp with a rich sweet taste.

Sugar Apple (English), Saramuyo (Spanish)
Annona squamosa - Family: Annonaceae.

Native to Mexico tropical fruit tree blooms from February to April, by June fruits are ripe and ready to eat; aromatic white pulp with a shite transparent meat texture that covers many hard black seeds, each pocket of the fruit's pulp has rich aromatic sweet taste, healthy snack!    

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Red Mombin fruit tree (English), Jocote che (Maya), Ciruela (Spanish).  Spondias purpurea - Family: Anacardiaceae.

This is a lovely tree to watch as fruits ripe, Maya people use the bark for medicinal remedies. Trees go dormant in winter and drop all of their leaves before flowering; fruits follow in 45-60 days. The fruits and flower grow right on the Ciruelo branches. These hog plum trees' bear fruit from May to September. Ciruelas are eaten green, ripe, or cook in a Mayan Pipian.

Pomegranate (English), Granada (Spanish)
Punica granatum -
 Family: Punicacea.

This fruit is highly valued for its nutritional rich vitamins and high concentration of naturally occurring antioxidants of any fruit. Typically, pomegranate's in Yucatan are smaller than those found in California, with bright ruby-like transparent sacs that contain a seed, juice, and a flavorful pulp. Pomegranate are great add on healthy treats in gourmet salads,  meals, or juiced for a drink.  Maya children enjoy these nutritious fruits. 

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Guava (English), Guayaba (Spanish), Xalxocotl (Nahuatl) Pichi' (Maya) Psidium guajava - Family: Myrtaceae.

Native to Mexico guava tree grows best in semi-dhaded tropical climates and humid soil.  Guava tree trunk has a distinctive smooth copper color bark and can grow up to 15 meters high in the wild; its leaves have a mild smell when rub, white delicate flowers bloom in March and by May guava fruits are fully grown; when ripe they have a distinctive sweet fragrance and may reach 5 cm. in diameter. Guava fruits have a spherical small seeds cluster in the center and can be eaten raw or cook. Guava leaves, bark, and fruit have medicinal healing properties use by Mayan Healers. Ripe guavas are a delight for birds, iguanas,bats and bees its pollinators. 

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Wild Graboo (English), Xac pac (Maya), Nance (Spanish).
Malpighia crassifolia - Family:

Wild tropical forest hardwood tree with orange yellow small bloom clusters during May, bearing small cherry like yellow round fruits that have silk shiny light skin, a creamy rich flavor with tart undertones, highly aromatic and bitter sweet, ideal for liquor creams. Maya people enjoys ripe fruits with salt and chili powered as snacks.  

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Bananas (English), Plátanos (Spanish) Ja'as (Maya)
Musa paradisiaca - Family: Musaceae. 

Native to Southeast Asia, banana hybrids are now widely cultivated in subtropical world regions. Banana trees are evergreen herbaceous plants that only bear fruits once from a pseudo-stem with a large flower at its tip; from the flower grow multiple clusters of fruits creating a large column fruit pendant; banana leafs are used to wrap tamales and other Mayan cooking.   

Plantain (English), Plátano Macho (Spanish) Xib Ja'as (Maya)
Musa balbisiana - Family: Musaceae.

Native to India, nowadays cultivated in many subtropical regions like Yucatan. Plantain tree bears flower and fruits in the same manner as a banana tree; plantain plants propagate with suckers frim the mother plant which dies after bearing fruit.  Ripe or green, plantains are always eaten fried, baked, steam, never raw.

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Tamarindo, Tamarindus indica.jpg
Tamarind (English) Tamarindo (Spanish), Pah-Ch'uhuk (Maya).
Tamarindus indica - Family: Fabaceae.

Native to Africa, brought during Colonial times to Yucatan, tamarind evergreen trees bear great amounts of fruits pods from April to July. Maya people enjoy the tart sweet aromatic rich flavor of this fruit, Tamarind is highly popular among Maya people. Fruit pods hang in clusters up to six to eight inches long. tamarind is eaten ripe, fresh, in candies, juices, and in sauces. 

Orange (English), Naranja Dulce (Spanish), Pak' aal (Maya).
Citrus sinensis -
 Family: Rutaceae. 

Oranges are hybrid trees; originating maybe in China where cross pollination on pomelo and tangerine seem to have yield the first orange hybrid.  Orange blooms have sweet citrus aroma; bees pollinate most blooms. There are a large variety of orange hybrid fruits, in Yucatan it is the Citrus sinensis the most commonly grown. Fruits are oval shaped with yellow-orange porous skin tones. Orange leafs teas are used to smooth digestion.

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Naranja agria, Citrus aurantium.jpg
Sour Seville Orange (English), Su'uts' pak'aal(Maya) Naranja-Agria (Spanish). Citrus aurantium - Family: Rutaceac.

Naranja Agria (sour orange) is an indispensable ingredient to Maya and Yucatan cuisine. Sour orange oil is commercially produce in other countries for cosmetic and cleaning products.  This citrus has ruff skin and bitter sour juice. Its trunk, branches, leafs are similar to other orange varieties. Sour Seville Orange trees enjoy full sun and water.   

Yucatan “limas” are hybrid citrus that look like a round Persian lime but have distinctive aroma and flavor no other lime matches. Limas have bumpy yellow/green thick skin rather than a smooth thin skin texture. It is not known where or how this lime originated, but must likely it is a hybrid between a Mexican lime and a sweet citron. Highly use in Yucatan's cuisine.

Lima Yucateca, Citrus aurantifolia.jpg
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Mexican Lime (English) Limon Indio (Spanish).
Citrus aurantifolia - Family:

Native to Mexico. This limon / lime has a tart sweet flavor with a high acidity, strong aroma, and thinner rind than more common limes.  Mexican lime shrubby tree has ovate leafs and thorny thin branches. Flowers and fruit appear throughout the year but are most abundant from May to September.

The Persian lemon is also known as the Tahitian lime ( Engish), or Limon Persa ( Spanish).
 Latifolia - Family: Rutaceae.

The fruit is about 6 cm in diameter, often with slightly pointed ends, usually sold green, although when fully ripe it is yellow. It is larger, with a thicker skin, and less aromatic than the sour lime (Citrus Aurantifolia), which is the most cultivated lime worldwide. The advantages of this lime compared to the acid one is that it is larger, it does not have seeds, it is more resistant to diseases, it does not have thorns on the trees, and the fruit lasts longer once harvested. Nowadays days are immersed in most of the Mexican gastronomy.

Limones persa, Citrus latifolia Tanaka.jpg
The flower of most of the trees of the Citrus Family is very similar and with almost no difference between them.​
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Evergreens Trees and Seeding Exotic Trees

Ancla 6
Lush Tropical Gardens and Beautiful Flora, Hacienda Chichen, Yucatan.
Maya Nut or Breadnut (English) Ramon Tree(Spanish) Tax'Osh (Maya). Brosimum alicastrum Moraceae - Family: Fig.

Native to tropical America, this evergreen has thick lush foliage and canopy.  Ramon trees produce small round seeds with one starchy highly nutritious Maya nut.  Ramon seeds or Maya Nuts are much higher in many vital nutrients including antioxidants than foods grown on farmed soils. Ramon fruit, also know as Maya Nut, is an important food for Mayan people. Ramon or Maya Nut tree is a valuable hardwood for Mayan rural people as its wood is used as timber. Ramon latex is often mixed with chicle tree sap; and its green-blue leafs feed horses and domestic cattle, and its seeds may alleviate many of the mal-nutrition issues found in Mayan rural villages today.

Ramon, Brosimum alicastrum.jpg
Elephant Ear Tree (English), Piich (Maya) Guanacaste (Spanish). Enterolobium cyclocarpum - Family:  Fabaceae.

Native to Mesoamerica. Strong long branches, large majestic thick trunk, when mature the Piich can reach 30-35 meters high, huge canopy, foliage with double pinnate leaflets. Older Piich trees house many varieties of wild orchids and bromeliads. Piich trees flower in April and are filled with exotic deep purple-brown woody seed pods by May.  Elephant Ear Tree's seeds are starchy with a light peanut flavor, very nutritious and filling.  Maya people cooked Piich seeds as snacks (much like pop-corn) and rural Mayan people process seeds to make flour for tortillas when corn crops are marginal. 

Pich tronco,  Enterolobium cyclocarpum copy.jpg
Pi'ich leaves Eterolo carpum.png
Calabash Tree (English) Jicara (Spanish) Luch (Maya).
Crescentia cujete
 - Family: Bignoniaceae. 

Native to tropical Americas calabash or Jicara tree has small bell-shaped leave. Its yellowish flowers, often veined with purple, open at night and are bat pollinated. The calabash fruit grows 12cm.across when ripped; heavy fruits, juicy pulp and seeds. Maya people cut calabash fruits and cured them to be used as bowls and cups. Trees endure high draught periods and enjoys full sun. 

Jicara, crescentia cujete .jpg
Gumbo limbo, Chaka, bursera simaruba.jpg
Red Gumbo limbo (English), Chakah or Sip' che' (Maya).
Bursera simaruba - Family: Burseraceae.

Red Gumbo Limbo is native to the Americas; a deciduous tree most notable for its peeling deep reddish bark, and softwood, nowadays used by Maya carvers.  Chaca's small white bloom clusters grow in spring and winter. This Gumbo limbo can be propagated by just planting young branches to the ground, Maya people use it as posts for fencing their parcels that with time become mature trees.  The Red Gumbo limbo or Chaca tree has a high salty soil tolerance and many medicinal qualities used by Maya healers in tea fusions, oils, and anti-inflammatory ointments. 

Sea Grape (English), Uva de Mar (Spanish), Sak tabka'an (Maya), Coccoloba uvifera - Family:  Polygonaceae. 

Native to American coasts.  Coastal Sea-grape shrubs have stout branches, seldom a distinct trunk.  Inland it can grow up to 4 meters high lovely tree; enjoys full sun with sandy or limestone soil, and resists draught well. Sea-grape's fragrant white flower spikes give bees and ants a feast.  Fruit clusters are filled with fleshy wild grapes, great food for birds, bats, and mammals.

Uva de Mar, Coccoloba uvifera.jpg
Cuban Laurel - Ficus retusa_edited.jpg
Cuban Laurel or Indian Ficus (English), Laurel (Spanish).
Ficus retusa - Family: Moraceae.

Asian origins, but adopted as a native Cuban evergreen laurel tree. Cuban Laurel ficus has a huge lush dome canopy, deep green-blue foliage in its magnificent branches, and leathery pinnate leaves, its berry-like golden yellow fruits grow in Spring.  Its large branches can reach up to 20 feet long, the trunk is very attractive and shapes organically to adapt, runs large air roots, and enjoys holding limestone formations at its base.  Birds, small mammals, snakes, ants, and other insects find food and refuge. This evergreen Laurel is pest-resistant and generally grows in sunny areas year-round. Propagates with cuttings, wasps and bee pollinated.  In Asia this is a good bonsai tree, but in Yucatan, Mayan people value its refreshing huge shade. 

Strangler Fig (English), Higuero (Spanish), Amatl (Maya-Naualt). Ficus cotinifolia - Family: Moraceae fig.

 Native to Mesoamerica.An evergreen strangler fig tree that has 2" round tip leaves and produces small berries at the base of leaf stems; pollinated by ants and bees, and propagated by bats, These Ficus are strangler figs, and their roots are a major factor for the demolition of many Mayan temples (ruins) and Colonial Haciendas in Yucatan, Mexico.   Ancient Mayans used the wild strangler fig bark to handmade "Copo or Amatl"  paper, for their books and codices.   

Strangler fig.jpg
Wild tamarid, leucaena leucocephala.jpg
Wild Tamarind or Lead Tree (English), Guaje (Spanish), Uaxim (Maya). Leucaena leucocephala Family: Fabaceae.

Native to Mexico.  Mayans use its branches for charcoal and firewood and for fencing.  Seeds and bark also used for healing remedies. Grows wild in the Maya forest, grayish trunk; foliage nutritional for feeding ruminants, bipinnate leaflets, yellow-cream small pompom-like fuzzy blooms; gives abundant brown rusted color pendant seed pods in May and June. 

Peccary Wood (English) also Peacock Flower, Chaparral  (Spanish), Kitinché and Kitanché (Maya),
 Caesalpinia gaumeri Greenm -  Family: Fabaceae.

From Mexico, the Peccary Wood tree is one of the most dominating trees in the northern region of Yucatan's forest.  Kitinche trees are part of the Mayan non-crop plant resources and an important source of pollen and nectar for bees in the Yucatan, Mexico, the lovely Caesalpinia gaumeri Greenm is a preferred firewood for most rural Mayan people.

Kitanche, Caesalpinia gaumeri Greenm.jpg
Bay Cedar, Guazuma ulmifolia.jpg
Bay Cedar (English), Guasmo (Spanish), Pixoy & Majahua (Maya).
Guazuma Ulmifolia Family: Malvaceae.

Is native to all Americas tropical zones. A medicinal tree with valuable wood use, Guazuma ulmifolia grows to 30 meters in height and up to 40 cm in diameter. Its leaves come in leaf stalks and have an ovate lance shape.  It produces many panicles or indeterminate small flower clusters found at the bottom of the leaves. Flowers are yellow-pale with a light fragrance. Its fruits’ pods become dark brown to black when mature and are used for home medicine remedies.

Palm Trees

Ancla 7
Lush Tropical Gardens and Beautiful Flora Hacienda Chichen, Chichen Itza, Yucatan
Dioon Cycad, (English / Spanish).
D. Spinulosum -
 Family: Cycadaceae.

Native to Mexico: Zamiaceaenative. All Cycads are gymnosperms ancient simple mega-sporophylls, palm-like plants, that lived in the Permian era, over 200 million years ago. Dioon Cycads are also known as Blue Dioon spinulosa these cycads are remarkable exotic palm-like plants facing extinction, thus protected at Hacienda Chichen Botanical Gardens. Cycads are a distinct monophyletic group, defined by the presence of cycasin, the frond leaves toothed margins, huge sporophylls cylindrical cones covered in golden short hairs, and the absence of auxiliary buds and stout trunks. There are three cycad families: Stangeriaceae, Zamiaceae, and Cycadaceae. Further reading and photos of Dioon Cycad Palm are here.  

Dioon Cycad, Dioon spinulosum,.jpg
Dioon Cycad, D. Spinulosum,  Cycadaceae.jpg
Dioon Cycad, D. Spinulosum.jpg
Royal Palm (English), Palma Real (Spanish).
Roystonea Regia
 - Family: Arecaceae.

Native to Mexico.  Mayans use its branches for charcoal and firewood and for fencing.  Seeds and bark also used for healing remedies. Grows wild in the Maya forest, grayish trunk; foliage nutritional for feeding ruminants, bipinnate leaflets, yellow-cream small pompom-like fuzzy blooms; gives abundant brown rusted color pendant seed pods in May and June. 

Royal palm - Roystonea Regia .jpg
Palma Coco, Cocos nucifera.jpg
Coconut Palm (English), Palma de Coco (Spanish), Kastelan tuk (Maya). 
Cocos nucifera - Family: Arecaceae.

Coconut palms have single ringed stem. They are poly-gamomonoecious with both male and female flowers found in same inflorescence; bees pollinate flowers. Fronds are large and flow with wind. Coconut palms require sandy soil, full sun, and high humidity for growth. Fruits have protective fiber husk, hard endocarp covering its white flesh, soft to hard as it ripens. Coconut's nutritional value is great; its sweet water, white flesh and natural oil  are delicious food choices. 

Palmera de Coco, Cocos nucifera.jpg
Areca Palm (English/Spanish) 
Chrysalidocarpus lutescen - Family: Arecaceae.

Native to Mexico.  Mayans use its branches for charcoal and firewood and for fencing.  Seeds and bark also used for healing remedies. Grows wild in the Maya forest, grayish trunk; foliage nutritional for feeding ruminants, bipinnate leaflets, yellow-cream small pompom-like fuzzy blooms; gives abundant brown rusted color pendant seed pods in May and June. 

Areca Palm Chrysalidocarpus lutescen.jpg
Guano palm.jpg
Guano Palm, (English / Spanish).
Sabel mauritiiformis - Family: Arecaceae.

A prized palm is found in the Maya jungles and is the most valuable palm frond for the Maya people since it is used to build their traditional home roofing. The Guano palm has large thick water-resistant fronds that will last up to 15 years when properly cured for roofing.  Harvest only during full moon by the Maya to avoid steam to be susceptible to insect damage.  The Guano palm trunk as it matures because very hard and sturdy. 

Guadalupe Palm, (English/Spanish).
Brahea Edulis - Family: Arecaceae.

An endemic palm to Mexico, this lush small fan palm has shiny green fan-shaped leaves, usually with indentations along the midrib. Guadalupe palms grow to 9 meters high showing a highly fissured trunk 1-1/2 feet in diameter. Endangered in its own native habitat in Mexico, Guadalupe Island, this beautiful palm is grown successfully nowadays in many palm farms, specially in the United State as an ornamental palm.

Guadalupe Palm - Brahea Edulis.jpg
Veitchia Palm - Adonidia merrillii.jpg
Veitchia Palm, (English/Spanish). Adonidia merrillii - Family: Arecaceae.

Resembles a dwarf version of the royal palm with a thinner gray white smooth stem marked by frond growths. Veitchia Palm grows up to 5 meters tall.  Its inflorescence attracts many bees mostly in October when it flowers, by December its oblong bright red nuts (photo) hang from the stem. Pinnate frond leafs build a short compact green crown-shaft. Native to the Philippines, this beautiful ornamental palm was brought Hacienda Chichen's Botanical Gardens by Mrs. Carmen G.Rul de Barbachano in the early 1950s; for the hotel's palm collection. 

The Cabbage Palmetto Palm, (English) Palmera Ornamental (Spanish), Sabal palmetto - Family: Arecaceae.

This beautiful Sabal palmetto has "fan" fond that form a rather ornamental overlapping pattern on its trunk as it is trimmed; such an overlapping pattern allows the trunk to become a perfect site for wild orchids, ferns, and bromeliads to grow and bloom.  Sabal palmetto trees can grow more than 20 meters tall; their yellow blooms have a rich nectar that attracts many bees and birds.

Cabbage Palmetto - Sabal Palmetto.jpeg
Dwarf Saw Palmetto (English),  Chit (Maya).
Serenoa repens, Sabal serrulata - Family:
 Arecaceae Palmae. 

Native to Florida and the Yucatan Peninsula. The Dwarf Saw Palmetto is a small hardy fan palm, its stem usually remains below ground or runs just along the surface. An especially attractive form with silvery-blue leaves. Saw palm seeds are highly valued by Mayan communities for building hut roofs and palapas; today the saw palmetto seeds extract are used in traditional medicine for prostate cures.

Broadleaf Lady Palm, (English) Palmera Bambu (Spanish)
Rhapis Excelsa - Family: Arecaceae.

Broadleaf lady palms are a strange species of fan palms that actually is extremely difficult to find in the wild. In a indoor cultivation the are good at cleaning toxins from the air including ammonia, formaldehyde, xylene, and carbon dioxide. Unlike other plants, who simply make oxygen, Rhapis excelsa will actually make the air in your home cleaner and safer to breathe.

Broadleaf Lady Palm, Rhapis excelsa.png

Suculentas: Agaves, Cactus & More

Ancla 8
Lush Tropical Gardens and Beautiful Flora
Hacienda Chichen, Chichen Itza, Yucatan.
Agave 'Joe Hoak' (English), Chelem (Maya), Sisalito (Spanish).
Agave meridensis variegata
 - Family: Agavaceae (Agaves).

Native to Yucatan, Mexico. A truly striking variegated rosette shaped  succulent, grows 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide.  Cultivated worldwide as an ornamental plant. Leafs beautifully variegated with blue-green centers and cream sharp edges, ending in a hard red spine. The mature agave is quite impressive. Plant enjoys frequent water, full sun, tolerates semi-shaded area; roots propagates new offspring.

Agave Joe Hawk - Agave meridensis variegata.jpeg
Maguey Semati - Agave Desmeniatta.jpeg
Agave Desmettiana (English), Maguey Semati (Spanish) Ki (Maya).
Agave desmettiana - Family: Agavaceae.

An elegant agave has deep blue green leafs with smooth edges and a red spine tip. Agave desmettiana grows a single spike with cymes of big yellow flowers, that can reach up to 2.5 meters  in height and last up to three months. The plant dies after flowering, and propagates producing suckers (basal shoots). Agave desmettiana grows best in Yucatan plantedin indirect sun garden areas.

 Sisal Agave (English), Henequen (Spanish).
Agave fourcroydes Lem -
 Family: Agavaceae.

Henequen or sisal agave originated in the Yucatan Peninsula; it differs from Sisal, Agave sisalana, slightly.  Both are highly fibrous agave hybrids that propagates with basal growing suckers.  Sisal agaves have sword-shaped leafs rosette that grow 1.5 to 2 meters tall. Sisal fiber had a high commercial value before man-made fibers replaced them to manufacture ropes, bags, etc.

Sisal Agave - Agave fourcroydes Lem.jpeg
Lengua de Vaca - Sansevieria trifasciata.jpg
Mother-in-law Tongue (English), Lengua de Vaca (Spanish).
Sansevieria trifasciata
 - Family: Ruscaceae.

Prefers full sun, but can tolerate low light conditions. Native to Africa it is common in Yucatan, Mexico, where it grows up to a meter and a half (5ft.).  Hacienda Chichen lush Botanical Gardens have: evergreen, variegated, and dwarf Mother-in-law Tongue varieties. These are herbaceous perennial succulent that need little water and are very drought tolerant; they propagate through clumps spreads and leaf cuttings; each bloom spreads a delightful night fragrance. Mayas use its fiber to handcraft art paper.  

Aloe Vera (English), Sabila (Spanish), Jun Peet's K'iin Kij (Maya). 
Aloe vera - Family: Asphodelaceae.

Native to Africa it was brought to Hacienda Chichen in the early 1960s. Maya Healers use it for its high healing properties. Aloe Vera plants grow in a rosette pattern, about to 60–100 cm; succulent leaves have inner  clear juice pulp or gel that is highly use in herbal healing remedies for its skin care qualities at Yaxkin Spa, see our Nature Eco-Spa Wellness Vacation offers.

Candelabra Cactus - EUPHORBIA LACTEA.jpg
Candelabra Cactus (English),  Huesos de dragon (Spanish). 
Euphorbia Lactea - Family: Spurge.

Native of South Africa but planted worldwide. The "lactea" in its technical name refers to milky latex that leaks when injured. Break off a stem segment and lots of "milk" runs down the stem. The latex is full of diterpene esters, which means that it's mildly toxic if eaten, and burns the skin for a few minutes if it gets on you. It's a lot worse if it gets in your eyes, however.

Chrismas Cactus (English),  Cactus de Navidad (Spanish), 
Schlumbergera - Family: Cactaceae.

The shoots of Schlumbergera are phylloclates assembled together and that resemble and function like leaves; The flowers emerge from their extremities (areolas). During the winter you can contemplate the splendor of their flowering. The flowers of the Christmas cactus emerge from the ends of the stems and are made up of arrow-shaped bell-shaped petals and stamens in the center.

Chrismas Cactus, Schlumbergera .png
Corona de Cristo, Euphorbia milii .png
Crown of Thorns (English),  Corona de Cristo (Spanish). 
Euphorbia milii - Family: Euphorbiaceae.

The plant itself has proven to be an effective molluscicide and a natural alternative to pest control. Extracts from the plant are used to control the snail population to avoid getting infected from a parasite. The sap is moderately poisonous, and causes irritation on contact with skin or eyes. If ingested, it causes severe stomach pain, irritation of the throat and mouth, and vomiting. Its flowers are very striking and vary in different colors such as red, yellow and white in which it brings its poison. Their flowering period covers the entire year, and they also come in different colors.

Sun Cactus (English), Nopalillo (Spanish)
Disocactus speciosus - Family: Cactaceae.

Due to the beauty of its flowers, it is used ornamentally and is usually collected from its natural environment. The flower of Disocactus speciosus is a bright pink, star-shaped bloom with yellow anthers as such it does not require much care as well as spaced but abundant doses of water.

Aechmea bracteata.jpg
Vase Bromeliad (English),  Cardon o Gallito (Spanish), Nej ku'uk (Maya)
Aechmea bracteata - Family: Bromeliaceae.

Nowadays one of the landscape's most eye-catching splashes of color is provided by our hippopotamus-size bromeliad, AECHMEA BRACTEATA, which is flowering. Aechmea bracteata must produce a lot of nectar because most plants that you can find host many ants. Aechmea bracteata provides yet another important service to the local ecosystem by gathering rainwater where each of its blades connects with the center of the plant, forming " inter-leaf spaces".

Oyster Plant (English), Maguey Morado (Spanish).
Tradescantya spathacea  - Family: Commelinaceae.

Although it is called purple maguey, it is important to start by clarifying that it is not related to true magueys. It receives this common name because the leaves grow in a similar way to them, rising upward from a common rosette. Additionally, they are smaller than maguey trees, making them excellent ornamentals for homes. It is implemented as a medicinal plant for sores and wounds, as well as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Its antibiotic effect has been proven against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it works to control cough.

Varigated Oyster plant, Tradescantya spathacea.png

Malangas and Other Tropical Flower Plants

Ancla 9
Tropical Botanical Gardens and Maya Jungle at Hacienda Chichen, Yucatan, Mexico
Malanga (Spanish), Alocasia macrorrhiza.jpg
Elephant Ears Malanga (English)  Colocasia, Malanga (Spanish). Alocasia Macrorrhiza - Family: Araceae.

Each Malanga can grow up to 2 meters tall in semi-shaded areas. All Malangas are tuberous perennials, with huge green leaves and blooms that are elegantly shaped with one single large cream-colored spadix, The flowers are big off-white scented single petal stems on the base of leaves. Its starchy roots are edible and very nutritious. 

Violet Stem Taro (English), Malanga Morada(Spanish)  
Colocasia fontanesii - Family: Araceae.

Native to Mexico and Central America. Edible plant, especially its starchy roots.  Grows up to 2.5 meters tall in semi shaded areas; Violet Stem Taro or Malanga morada, is also known as Violet Taro or Mafafa Morada.  This malanga has huge deep violet stems and green-violet leaves and leaf backs. Blooms with huge cream velvety spadixes (one petal flowers).

Violet Stem Taro - Malanga Morada.jpg
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Variegated Oyster or Lily Plant, (English)
Tradescantia spathacea - Variegata Family: Commelinaceae.

Each Malanga can grow up to 2 meters tall in semi-shaded areas. All Malangas are tuberous perennials, with huge green leaves and blooms that are elegantly shaped with one single large cream-colored spadix, The flowers are big off-white scented single petal stems on the base of leaves. Its starchy roots are edible and very nutritious. 

Hibiscus (English), Tulipanes (Spanish), Caanché(Maya)
Hibiscus furcellatus - Family: Malvaceae.

It is an indigenous species of Florida and Central America; the Hibiscus furcellatus flowers bloom with deep red five-petal flowers or bright magenta petals. Many commercial hibiscus hybrids are now found in every tropical regions of the world as ornamental refreshing colorful flowers use as edges and for showy topiary, making it very difficult to know the plants' species.  Pistil has both sexes and gets pollinated by humming birds, bees, and other insects feeding in its nectar. 

Tulipanes - Hibiscus furcellatus.jpg
Cat Tail - Acalypha hispida.jpg
Chenille plant or Red-hot Cat-Tail (English), Cola de Gato (Spanish) Chac Nicte (Maya) Acalypha hispida, Euphorbiaceae Family.

Each Malanga can grow up to 2 meters tall in semi-shaded areas. All Malangas are tuberous perennials, with huge green leaves and blooms that are elegantly shaped with one single large cream-colored spadix, The flowers are big off-white scented single petal stems on the base of leaves. Its starchy roots are edible and very nutritious. 

Other Stunning Flowers

Ancla 10
Lush Tropical Gardens and Beautiful Flora Hacienda Chichen, Chichen Itza, Yucatan
Bougainville (English), Buganvilias(Spanish).
Bougainvillea glabra
 - Family: Nyctaginaceae.

From the woody vines with thin stems full of sharp thorns and dark evergreen leaves growing up to 2 meters tall.  Bougainville vines are native to Latin America now grown in most of the world's tropical regions. Its flowers bloom in clusters and there is a huge variety of colors; easily reproduce with cuttings. Bougainville likes moist soil and tolerates dry climates. Highly appreciated as a medicinal cough tea and flower fusion in  Maya healing traditions.

Bougainville - bougainvillea.jpg
Empress Candle flower - Senna Alata.jpg
Empress Candle Flower (English), Flor de Camaron (Spanish). 
Senna Alata - Family: Fabaceae.

This exotic yellow flower attracts bees, birds, insects, especially butterflies; native to Mexico. Lush exotic green foliage with impressive yellow candle-like blooms that shoot small white flowers. Highly ornamental shrubs, Empress Candle bushes may stand 3-4 m tall. Prefers open sunny areas. Medicinal plant with good antibacterial potency, and antifungal activity found in its flowers.

Yellow Walking Irises (English), Lirio Amarillo (Spanish).
Neomarica longifolia - Family: Iridaceae.

Native to the American tropics the Herbaceous perennial plant, with erect grass-like leaves, grows to 1-1.5 m.  Yellow Walking Irises flower in clusters of several blooms normally during the rainy season in the wild and almost all year round at Hacienda Chichen due to irrigation. The plant does best in a semi-shaded garden area and blooms bright deep yellow iris-like flowers mainly in Spring with seven oblong petals in the exterior grown and five small petals in the interior that are gracefully spotted with burned orange tones.  Neomarica longifolia roots enjoy very humid almost wet soil and propagate in clumps of young plantlets formations in the flower cluster stem, as the flower cluster falls over, the plantlets reach the soil to root themselves forming a new plant.

Neomarica longifolia.jpg
Hippeastrum 'Minerva' – Amarylli.jpg
Amaryllis (English), Minerva (Spanish). 
Hippeastrum - Family: Amaryllidaceae

Native to Central and South America it is a flower with 70 different species, The name Hippeastrum derives from the Greek and means "knight's star", and was chosen by the Reverend William Herbert in 1821 to describe the first species of the genus, Hippeastrum reginae. They are herbaceous, perennial and bulbous plants. The bulb of most species is 5 to 12 cm in diameter, it is a tunicate bulb, whose concentric scales are formed by the enlarged leaf bases, whose fruit is a trivalve capsule, with black seeds.

Water Hyanciths (English), Lirio Acuatico (Spanish). 
Eichhornia crassipes - Family: Pontederiaceae.

These marvelous Floating perennial plants are native to the tropical regions of South America. They float supported by spongy rhizomes, with the roots floating freely, they can intertwine forming reservoirs, authentic floating islands on which other vegetation grows and which serve as habitats for numerous animal species. The local Melipona Bee loves their wonder flowers that elaborate delicious and nutritive organic honey. 

Jacientos flor de agua.jpg
Flamingo Flower (English), Lirio Flaming (Spanish). 
Anthurium andraenum - Family: Araceae.

The genus is native to the Americas, where it is distributed from southern Mexico to northern Argentina and parts of the Caribbean. is a genus of herbs often growing as epiphytes on other plants. Some are terrestrial. The leaves are often clustered and are variable in shape. With their unique tropical shape and bright red, green, and white colors, they can constantly bloom for long periods making them delightful indoor plants year-round. The blooming varieties are distinctive for their colorful, heart-shaped waxy spathes and red or yellow tail-like flower spikes.

Paullinia (English / Spanish
Paullinia Cupana - Family: Sapindaceae.

Native to tropical climates of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. The fruit of several species is edible, the most popular being P cupana (guarana), other species are used in herbal medicine. The sap of the P cururu species is highly toxic and used as an arrow poison by natives in South America.

Opuntia ficus-indica flower (nopal cactus).remini-enhanced.jpg
Nopal (English / Spanish
Opuntia ficus-indica - Family: Cactaceae.

Species of cactus that has long been domesticated crop plant grown in agricultural economies throughout arid and semiarid parts of the world. Ficus-indica is the most widespread and most commercially important cactus. It is grown primarily as a fruit crop, and also for vegetable nopales and other uses. The fruits are commercialized in many parts of the world, eaten raw, and have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any fruit. The young "leaves" (actually cladodes, which technically are stems) are cooked and eaten as a vegetable known as nopales.

Giant Spider Lily (English / Spanish
Crinum Asiaticum - Family: Amaryllidaceae.

Is a plant species widely planted in many warmer regions as an ornamental. It is a bulb-forming perennial producing an umbel of large. The entire plant is toxic, especially the bulb. It contains a variety of alkaloids such as lycorine and tazettine. When eaten, it can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, constipation, irregular breathing, rapid pulse, fever, etc.; sufficient misuse can cause nervous system paralysis and death. As well as among its properties, Crinum asiaticum bulbs contain an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, called ungeremin, which may be suitable as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Anthurium schlechtendalii.png
Pheasant's Tail ( English ) Cola de Faisan ( Spanish ), Boobtúum ( Maya ) 
Anthurium schlechtendalii - Family: Araceae.

Its fruits have a similar appearance to small red berries when ripe. It is also known for its decontaminating properties, as it has the ability to absorb ammonia found in some cleaning products. They are also effective at absorbing xylene, degreasers, bleaches, fertilizers and tobacco smoke. The kitchen and bathroom are ideal for anthurium.

Bright Eyes ( English ) Ninfa ( Spanish
Crinum Asiaticum - Family: Apocynaceae.

Vinca has been used for decades in traditional medicine, since the decoction of its petals is used for diseases such as cataracts, conjutivitis, fleshiness, in addition to strengthening eyesight. But it has also been recognized for its certain degree of toxicity, so its consumption should always be under the supervision of an expert.

Vinca rosea L, Catharanthus roseus.remini-enhanced.jpg
Cocinera, Scalet jungleflame.jpg
Jungle Geranium ( English ), Cocinera (Spanish
Ixora coccinea - Family: Rubiaceae.

The flowers, leaves, roots, and the stem are used to treat various ailments in the Indian traditional system of medicine. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, B6, E and K which help maintain good skin condition. Vitamin A protects against sunburn and reduces wrinkles.

Chinese Rose (English )  Rosa de China (Spanish
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis - Family: Malvaceae.

It is grown as an ornamental plant in the tropics and subtropics such as the Yucatan Peninsula. Some parts of the plant are edible. The young leaves can be used as a substitute for spinach, the flowers are consumed raw or cooked, they are also used as a coloring giving a purple touch to dishes. The root is also edible, although it has little flavor, is very fibrous and has a mucilaginous texture.

Chinese rose, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis.png
Cryptotaenia canadensis.PNG
Canadian Honewort ( English ), Perejil Japones (Spanish
Cryptotaenia Canadensis - Family: Apiaceae.

Its young leaves and stems can be used as a boiled green or seasoning similar to parsley. The parsniplike roots can be cooked and eaten. Fruit is a 2-sectioned, ribbed seed, about ¼ inch long, pointed at the tip. It ripens from green to dark brown.

From the Orchard to the kitchen

Ancla 11
Organic Ochard recolection.jpg
Calabaza yucateca or Moscada de Provenza (English / Spanish
Cucurbita Moschata - Family: Cucurbitaceae.

The Yucatecan pumpkin is a variety of pumpkin of the Cucurbita moschata variety that occurs in the tropical areas of the American continent and is widely used in the gastronomy of that area. Fried pumpkin, pumpkin stew, soups, etc. Nowadays these pumpkins are an important part of the Maya cuisine because of the facility to grow them all the year.

Calabaza yucateca o  calabaza yucateca es una variedad de Cucurbita moschatar.jpg
huaya, Melicoccus bijugatus.jpg
Spanish lime (English), Huaya ( Spanish) Wayúum (Maya)
Melicoccus bijugatus - Family: Sapindaceae.

The fruit is a round drupe, approximately 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) in diameter, with a thin, brittle, green peel. The bulk of the fruit is made up of the one (or, rarely, two) whitish seeds, which are surrounded by an edible, orange, juicy, gelatinous pulp. The main use of the mamoncillo is its sweet fruits, which are consumed fresh or canned, and can also be used in the preparation of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. It can produce a strong yellow dye, although it is rarely used for this purpose. The leaves are used in various traditional medicinal preparations, and also used as pest deterrents.

Melon (English / Spanish
Cucumis Melo - Family: Cucurbitaceae.

The fruit is diuretic, respiratory, eupeptic, demulcent and nutritious. The skin and roots have an emetic effect.8​ A 100 g serving provides more than half of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. Its also a good option in warm days to keep you hidratated and eliminated toxins from our body avoiding stomachache.

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Pineapple-Ananas comosus.jpg
Pineapple (English), Piña (Spanish
Ananas Comosus - Family: Bromeliaceae.

Pineapples grow as a small shrub; the individual flowers of the unpollinated plant fuse to form a multiple fruit. In the wild, pineapples are pollinated primarily by hummingbirds Certain wild pineapples are foraged and pollinated at night by is usually made with peels from the whole fruit, rather than the juice, also a very traditional beverage is the chaya with pineapple juice, refreshing for dry days and a very complete and nutritional juice. 

Mirliton (English), Chayote (Spanish), Hitzayotl (Maya)
Sechium edule - Family: Cucurbitaceae.

This fruit was first cultivated in Mesoamerica between southern Mexico and Honduras, with the most genetic diversity available in  Mexico. The chayote fruit is mostly used cooked. When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash; it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crispy consistency.  Likewise, the stems, due to their flexibility and resistance, are used for the artisanal manufacture of baskets and marvelous hats.

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Maya Cuisine Herbs & Spices

Ancla 12
Organic Farming.jpg
20 - Achiote seeds pods.jpg
Annatto (English), Achiotl / Ku'u up (Maya), Achiote (Spanish).
Bixa Orellana - Family: Bixa.

Native to Mexico, now grown in many countries for its great taste and natural coloring qualities. Achiote is an important ingredient in "Pibil Pastes" and Mayan cooking. Annatto shrubs or bushes bear pink flowers and bright red-brown spiny fruits which contain the valuable burned red seeds. Mayan people value Annatto for its healing properties, great taste, fabulous natural dye, and wonderful aroma. Seeds are dried and used as powder.

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cebollina, Allium tuberosum.png
Welsh Onion or Chives (English), Cebollina (Spanish). 
Allium fistulosum - Family: Amaryllidaceae.

The flavor of chives is sweeter and more delicate than onion. Therefore, it is ideal for use in dishes, it becomes more refined due to the presence of its intense green leaves and good aroma. Once cleaned and washed, locally the best way to use it is only its white part and three or four centimeters of its green stem. It is excellent in recipes like omelets to more elaborate local dishes such as corn toast with sautéed mushroom tinga in tomato sauce.

Shallot (English), Chalote (Spanish). 
Allium Ascalonicum - Family: Amaryllidaceae.

Being a relative of onions, this plant is cultivated for gastronomic purposes and its presence could not be missing in the typical food of Mexico. Some of its uses are Pork secret with pumpkin with five peppers.

Chalotte - Allium ascalonicum.jpg
Orégano, Origanum vulgare.jpg
Oregano (English / Spanish), Xikin (Maya). 
Origanum vulgare - Family: Lamiaceae.

Oregano is a very important spice today in world cuisine, in Mexican cuisine it is no exception since its use is present throughout the country. Although it can be used fresh, it has been determined that its aroma and flavor intensify when dehydrate it, allowing us to protect it for a long time in this way, in the typical food of Yucatan we can see it participating in the preparation of dishes such as cochinita or chilmole well known as "Relleno negro". Just as it has some characteristics in the Mayan sanction, relieving headaches, stomach and joint discomfort, it has been investigated that it also contributes to the prevention of heart problems.

Spearmint (English), Hierbabuena (Spanish). 
Mentha spicata - Family: Lamiaceae.

Spearmint is used for its aromatic oil, called oil of spearmint, which gives spearmint its distinctive smell. Spearmint leaves are infused in water to make spearmint tea. Spearmint is an ingredient of Maghrebi mint tea. Spearmint is an ingredient in several mixed drinks, such as the mojito and mint julep—sweet tea, iced and flavored with spearmint.

Rabano, aphanus sativus.jpg
Radish (English), Rabano (Spanish). 
Aphanus Sativus - Family: Brassicaceae.

Although the entire plant is edible and the tops can be used as a leaf vegetable. The seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw in a similar way to a mung bean. The seeds of radishes can be pressed to extract radish seed oil. Wild radish seeds contain up to 48% oil, and while not suitable for human consumption, this oil is a potential source of biofuel.

Coriander (English), Cilantro (Spanish). 
Coriandrum sativum - Family: Apiaceae.

Fresh leaves and dried seeds are the most commonly used in cooking, but all parts of the plant are edible, and the roots are an important element of Mexican cooking. In Mexico its use is very extensive, it is used in the preparation of various sauces and moles, as flavored in soups and broths, and fresh and chopped as a dressing for different types of tacos and appetizers, as well as is widely used in the preparation of soups, salads and mashed avocado (also known in that country as guacamole).

Cilantro, Coriandrum sativu.jpg
Chile Maax, Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum .jpg
Bird Peppers (English), Rabano (Spanish), Maax ik (Maya).
Capsicum Annuum - Family: Solanaceae.

They come from a herbaceous plant up to 2 meters high that grows wild throughout Mexico. The bush has many branches, but only one stem. Its fruit is a small berry 8 to 10 mm long by 5 to 8 mm wide with a round, conical shape and pointed ends. In an immature state, the chili is green, but when ripe it turns bright red. The piquín flower is white. The drying process of the piquín chile is somewhat complex since due to its acidity it can cause the chiles to burn. The piquín chili has been the subject of studies in recent years due to the large amount of antioxidants it contains. At a nutritional level, the piquín chili provides a significant number of phytocompounds to the diet that include capsacinoids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin C and chlorophyll. Therefore, it is a great aid in the prevention of diseases such as cancer.

Menta, Mentha piperita.jpg
Mint (English),  Menta (Spanish).
Mentha - Family: Lamiaceae.

Mint is one of the plants most used by the country's population for all types of digestive disorders, as an antiparasitic and to combat headaches. The leaves and flowering tops have stimulant, stomachic, carminative, and antiseptic properties. An essential oil used in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries as a flavoring and aromatizing agent is obtained from mint leaves.

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Ancla 13

Ornamental & Ferns

Golden Pothos (English), Telefono (Spanish). 
Epipremnum Aureum - Family: Araceae.

The species is a popular houseplant in temperate regions but has also become naturalised in tropical and sub-tropical forests worldwide. Used today generally as an interior decoration, the phone cannot flower on its own, it needs a hormonal stimulus and help from other birds and insects to carry out its flower and subsequently pollination.

Pothos, telefono, Epipremnum aureum.jpg
Croton (English), Croto (Spanish). 
Epipremnum Aureum - Family: Araceae.

Some of the unknown properties of Maya Healing are that it works as a healing agent; its leaves are used as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and hemostatic property, and antidiarrheal. It has also been widely used in traditional medicine in treating gastrointestinal ulcers, uterine cramps, and urine retention, and as an anti-cancer agent.

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Crotos, Codiaeum variegatum.jpg
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Spath (English), Cuna de Moises (Spanish). 
Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum - Family: Araceae.

Native to Mexico, they are usually found around streams and rivers, with a very short root. The leaves grow directly from the root. A little-known characteristic of Moses' Cradle is that it is a plant capable of absorbing excess moisture in the environment in which it grows as well as pollutants.

Cuna de Moises, Spathiphyllum.jpg
Reina Púrpura, Tradescantia pallida.jpg
Purple heart (English), Reina Purpura (Spanish). 
Tradescantia pallida - Family: Commelinaceae.

Native to Mexico, it is a plant used as a hanging plant and as a ground cover plant, both for sunny areas and for shaded areas. It is an excellent plant to act as a mosquito repellent.

Swiss Cheese Plant (English), Costilla de Adan (Spanish). 
Monstera Deliciosa - Family: Araceae.

Native to tropical forests of southern Mexico, south to Panama. The fruit looks like a green ear of maize covered with hexagonal scales.In some countries the fruit of this plant is used as a food called 'ceriman' with a flavor similar to banana with pineapple, hence its scientific name. Also one of its few not-so-usual uses is as a home remedy for snakebite or as a topical treatment for arthritis.

Costilla de Adán, Monstera deliciosa.jpg
Caladios, Caladium sp.jpg
Heart of Jesus (English), Oreja de Elefante (Spanish). 
Caladium bicolo - Family: Araceae.

Caladium bicolor contains calcium oxalate crystals, making all parts of the plant poisonous to humans, livestock, and pets. Sap coming in contact with the skin may cause skin irritation. Ingestion may cause burning and swelling of the lips, mouth, and tongue, as well as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Dumb Cane (English), Loteria (Spanish). 
Dieffenbachia - Family: Araceae.

The cells of the Dieffenbachia plant contain needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals called raphides. If a leaf is chewed, these crystals can cause a temporary burning sensation and erythema.They are plants that can reach heights of 20 meters, although others do not exceed 3 meters. Its leaves are oval or lanceolate, of a beautiful dark green color with light spots in the center.

Caña millonaria, Dieffenbachia sp.jpg
Rosary beads, Abrus precatorius .jpg
Jequirity Beans (English), Coralillo Asiatico (Spanish). 
Abrus precatorius - Family: Fabaceae.

The seeds of Abrus precatorius are much valued in native jewelry for their bright coloration. Most beans are black and red, reminiscent of a ladybug, though other colors exist. Jewelry-making with jequirity seeds is rumoured to be somewhat hazardous. and in percussion instruments, and which are toxic because of the presence of abrin. Ingestion of a single seed, well chewed, can be fatal to both adults and children. 

Bundleflowers (English), Guajito (Spanish). 
Desmanthus - Family: Fabaceae.

In certain areas of Mexico it has been used for a long time as a type of natural fungicide. It is a competitive plant and can become a weed, so introduction to regions where it is not yet present is not suggested. It is known as a weed in sugar cane.

Helecho Rizado Anemia adiantifolia.jpg
Helecho Rizado  (Spanish). 
Anemia Adiantifolia - Family: Anemiaceae.

These ferns, when grown indoors, usually have the benefit of purifying the air. Being compatible with humidity, they develop well in this area of Mexico.It is very important to remember that ferns do not produce flowers, therefore their reproduction is through spores and not seeds.

Plumosa Fern (English), Espuma de Mar (Spanish). 
 Asparagus Setaceus - Family: Asparagaceae.

Nowadays it has been discovered that it can have therapeutic use including nervous disorders, heart conditions in general and heart pain. Although its name suggests it, the feather fern is not actually a fern, but a plant related to asparagus (Asparagus officinalis). It is widely cultivated as an ornamental, both as an indoor, garden or greenhouse plant (depending on the climate of the region) and for use in floral arrangements; purpose for which it is very popular.

plumoso fern.jpg
Helecho Venus Adiantum capillus-veneris .jpg
Southern maidenhair fern( English ) , Helecho Venus  (Spanish). 
Adiantum capillus-veneris - Family: Pteridaceae.

Some benefits of this fern are that it acts as an anti-inflammatory and in some cases even an expectorant, formerly used as a detoxifier and with topical properties for dermatitis and we can frequently find them on walls and caves.

Plumosa Fern (English), Espuma de Mar (Spanish). 
 Asparagus Setaceus - Family: Asparagaceae.

Nowadays it has been discovered that it can have therapeutic use including nervous disorders, heart conditions in general and heart pain. Although its name suggests it, the feather fern is not actually a fern, but a plant related to asparagus (Asparagus officinalis). It is widely cultivated as an ornamental, both as an indoor, garden or greenhouse plant (depending on the climate of the region) and for use in floral arrangements; purpose for which it is very popular.

plumoso fern.jpg
Silver Queen, Chinese evergreen, Aglaonema.png
Silver Queen ( English ), Aglaonema Reina Plateada  (Spanish). 
Adiantum capillus-veneris - Family: Araceae.

It is a herbaceous, rhizome and perennial plant, which grows to a height of no more than 80 cm, generally about 20 cm. Its leaves are large, oval, elongated and thick with light silver spots, placed on long petioles, with a certain resemblance to the leaves of the Dieffenbachia genus. The flowers, without notable fragrance, appear in small white or yellowish spathes, and grow in early summer, although flowering does not usually occur under indoor growing conditions. It produces small oval fruits in clusters that turn red when ripe.

Xanadu (English ), Garra de Leon (Spanish). 
 Thaumatophyllum Xanadu - Family: Araceae.

Like their relative Philodendron, Thaumatophyllum are poisonous to vertebrates, but vary in their toxicity levels. They contain calcium oxalate crystals in raphide bundles, which are poisonous and irritating. The sap may cause skin irritation. On the other hand, it is incredibly good at purifying the air in our environments, so it is all-terrain and undemanding.

Thaumatophyllum xanadu.JPG

Bromelias & Orquids

Ancla 14
Both equally beautiful but they are not the same!
Brumelia silvestre, tillandsia yucatana.png
Southern maidenhair fern( English ) , Brumelia Silvestre  (Spanish). 
Tillandsia Yucatana  - Family: Bromeliaceae.

Some benefits of this fern are that it acts as an anti-inflammatory and in some cases even an expectorant, formerly used as a detoxifier and with topical properties for dermatitis and we can frequently find them on walls and caves.

Giant Airplant (English), Gallito (Spanish). 
 Tillandsia fasciculata - Family: Bromeliaceae.

The curious cockerel, in its natural environments, grows on top of trees in swampy and scrub areas. They are acaulescent plants, reaching a size of 38–70 cm high. Leaves 24–70 cm long; pods 3–6 cm wide, brown to reddish-brown. It is an epiphytic plant or, in other words, it develops “hugging” another species, usually larger trees, it is not a parasite. What it needs to survive and develop properly is obtained from the surroundings and not from the host on which it grows.

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Aechmea tillandsioides.png
Aechmea Tillandsioides  (English / Spanish). 
Aechmea Tillandsioides  - Family: Bromeliaceae.

It has green, very prickly, leathery, waxy foliage; inflorescence on scape up to 12 dm, flowers with three red and toothed bracts, and yellow petals; very slow growing. They bloom only once in summer seasons, although this may vary depending on the species and the flowers remain for a long time. They absorb nutrients through their foliage and not from the roots. Due to their striking appearance and bright colors, they are grown as ornamental.

Orchid (English), Orquidea (Spanish). 
 Trichocentrum oerstedii - Family: Bromeliaceae.

Also know as Trichocentrum andrewsiae is found in the north Maya jungle region.  A Yucatan endemic wild orchid a bit rare to find while blooming. Scientifically named to honor Joann M Andrews an American pioneer in Yucatan Orchidology and dear friend of Hacienda Chichen owners. This orchid is similar to the Lophiaris oerstedii.   This species grows best mounted on tree-fern mesh, with high humidity and good sun light. Blooms later spring on a long arching basal, carting many laxly small flowered.

Orquidea Lophiaris andrewsiae.jpg
Catasetum integerrimum.jpg
Wild Intact Catasetum Orchid (English),  Orquidea Verde Silvestre (Spanish) Xanab miis ( Maya).
Catasetum Integerrimum - Family: Orchidaceae.

A rare orchid species found from Mexico to Central America. Though endangered in other areas, it does grow wild and abundant in our Hacienda Chichen’s Maya Jungle Reserve here in Chichen Itza, Yucatan. A are epiphytic orchid, but sometimes terrestrial; with fusiform pseudobulbs sized about 15 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. The plant is covered with pods that, when young, gradually develop leaves up to the apex, the old pseudobulbs naked, ringed and green. The leaves are 20 cm long and 4 cm wide, folded, with 3 main longitudinal veins, green. Unisexual flowers produced laterally their sepals and petals are greenish-yellow and the lower side with purple spots. 

ORCHID Catasetum integerrimum.jpg
Cohniella yucatanensis, puuts´che' (maya).png
Cetzal & Carnevali  (English / Spanish). 
Cohniella Yucatanensis  - Family: Orchidaceae.

It is a species of large orchid, with epiphytic habits with subcoriaceous, linear-ligulated, oblique, subacute and glabrous leaves. It flowers in winter and spring in an erect, paniculate, highly branched inflorescence, 1 meter long, each branch with 6 to 8 flowers, with oblong acuminate-ovate floral bracts.

More Flora and Beauty will be uploaded soon!

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