When time and funding permit, each flower (each plant species) will have its own page, and its own PDF, and eventually its own PPT so that professors and students have plenty of material on Guatemala (and Honduras, etc) to study.

Heliconia adflexa, Coban, Guatemala, Hotel Monja Blanca, FLAAR, by Nicholas Hellmuth

This space is for flowers
we have recently found and photographed.


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Bibliography on Guayo, Talisia olivaeformis

Talisia oliviformis, Guayo, Yellow Genip

This wild fruit tree grows throughout the Lowlands of the Mayan areas of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. This tree is frequently found around pyramids and acropolises throughout Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo.

Talisia oliviformis and Talisia floresii both occur throughout much of the Mayan areas (of the Peten and Belize lowlands). We have found Talisia trees bearing fruit in hill forests at the back of Temple 216 and near bajo areas along the road between Yaxha and Nakum. Once they flower we can better judge whether these fruits pictured here are Talisia oliviformis (Melicoccus oliviformis) or Talisia floresii.

Annotated Bibliography on Guayo, Talisia oliviformis

PDF, Articles, Books on Talisia olivaeformissynonym for Talisia oliviformis

  • CHAN, Albert
  • 2010
  • Diversidad florística y funcional a través de una cronosecuencia de la selva mediana subperennifolia en la zona de influencia de la Reserva de la Biosfera Calakmul, Campeche, México. Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza. 162 pages.

    Available Online:
  • GÓNGORA, Ricardo, FLORES, Salvador, RUENES, María, AGUILAR, Wilian and Jesús GARCÍA
  • 2016
  • Uso tradicional de la flora y fauna en los huertos familiares mayas en el municipio de Campeche, Campeche, México. Ecosistemas y Recursos agropecuarios. Vol. 3, No. 9. Pages 379-389.

    Available Online:
  • MACVEAN, Ana Lucrecia
  • 2003
  • Plantas útiles de Petén, Guatemala. Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. 168 pages.
  • NIEMBRO, Aníbal
  • n.d.
  • Talisia oliviformis (Kunth) Radlk. Part II – Species Descriptions. Pages 740-741.
  • 1968
  • Arboles tropicales de México; manual para la identificación de campo de los principales árboles tropicales de México. UNAM, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2da. Ed. México, D.F. pp: 340-341.

    There is an earlier edition, and now a 3rd edition. The listing here is the 2nd edition.

    Available online:
  • RAMÍREZ, Maribel, URDANETA, Aly, URDANETA, Verónica and Danny GARCÍA
  • 2017
  • Efecto de los tratamientos pregerminativos en la emergencia y en el desarrollo inicial del cotoperiz (Talisia oliviformis (Kunth) Radlk). Pastos y forrajes. Vol. 40, No. 1. Pages 16-22.

    Available Online:
  • RONQUILLO, Fredy, MELGAR, Mario, CARRILLO, José and Anibal MARTÍNEZ
  • 1988
  • Colectar y descripción de especies vegetales de uso actual y potencial en alimentación y/o medicina, de las zonas semiáridas del nororiente de Guatemala. Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. 249 pages.
  • STANDLEY, Paul C., and Julian A. STEYERMARK,
  • 1949
  • Flora of Guatemala. Fieldiana: Botany Vol. 24, Part VI. Chicago Natural History Museum.

    Available Online:
  • Talisia olivaeformis (HBK.) Radlk. Sitzungsber. Bayer. Akad. 8: 342. 1878. Melicocca olivaeformis HBK. Nov. Gen. & Sp. 5: 100. 1821. Jurgay; Urugualle; Talpajocote; Kenep, Guayo, Uayum (Peten, Maya).

    Wooded ravines or moist or dry thickets, often planted about dwellings, 500 meters or less; Pete"n; Zacapa; Chiquimula; Baja Verapaz; Jutiapa; Guatemala. Chiapas; Yucatan; British Honduras; Colombia and Venezuela.

    A tree of 18 meters or less with dense spreading crown, the branchlets and petioles minutely puberulent or almost wholly glabrous; leaflets 4, opposite, elliptic to lance-oblong, mostly 5-12 cm. long, petiolulate, obtuse or short-acuminate with a very obtuse tip, acute to obtuse at the base, thinly coriaceous, the nerves and veins not conspicuous beneath; inflorescences axillary, often glomerate at the ends of the branches, usually small and shorter than the leaves, densely tomentulose, the pedicels 1-2 mm. long; flowers white, 3-4 mm. long, the sepals ovate, acute, tomentulose outside; petals ciliate; fruit subglobose, mammillate at the apex, densely and minutely pale-tomentulose.

    Called "tinaljuco" in Honduras. In Salvador there is a belief that the tree fruits only once every ten years, a belief probably without basis. It is said to be much planted in Peten, and to be found about the old ruined cities, as if persisting from former cultivation. The fruit is of a handsome sage-green, or at full maturity yellowish. In the fresh state the rind is firm but flexible, enclosing a considerable amount of dull orange-red pulp that has a slightly acid and agreeable flavor. The fruit is not popular in Central America, because of the competition of so many better ones, but it is sometimes sold in the markets, as at Chiquimula, where it was observed in some quantity in April.

    Note by Hellmuth, we found the fruit ripe on the trees in Izabal in late July. We found lots of fruits on Talisia olivaeformis trees around the Yaxha park in 2018. Other botanists have found this tree in dry areas along the Rio Motagua (http://digi.usac.edu.gt/bvirtual/informes/puirna/INF-2002-023.pdf).

  • ZAMORA, Pedro, GUTIÉRREZ, Celso, FOLAN, William, DOMÍNGUEZ, María, VILLEGAS, Pascale, CABRERA, Geucilio, CASTRO, Claudeth and Juan CARBALLO
  • 2012
  • La vegetación leñosa del sitio arqueológico de Oxpemul, municipio de Calakmul, Campeche, México. Polibotánica. No. 33. Pages 131-150.

    Available Online:
  • ZAMORA, Pedro, GARCÍA, Gerardo, FLORES, José and Juan ORTIZ
  • 2008
  • Estructura y composición florística de la selva mediana subcaducifolia en el sur del estado de Yucatán, México. Polibotánica. No. 26. Pages 36-66.

    Available Online:


Suggested webpages with photos and information on Talisia olivaeformis

www.backyardnature.net/yucatan/wildguay.htm and www.backyardnature.net/yucatan/guaya.htm
As always on this site of Jim Conrad, nice photos at large size so you can see everything. You do not have to click-to-enlarge.

Does not give any local names. And for use, only says it’s edible.


Photos and map location.



First posted, January 2018
Bibliography prepared by Marcella Sarti, FLAAR Mesoamerica


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