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, Guatemala, FLAAR Mayan ethnobotanical garden, Jun 1, 2017, by Nicholas Hellmuth

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


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Calliandra: Family, subfamily, genus, species

Wikipedia says there are 140 species native of tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas.

Family is Fabaceae, subfamily Mimosoideae.

Calliandra is all over Guatemala

We have found Calliandra

  • In flat areas of El Peten
  • Near Tecpan (we believe this is Calliandra grandiflora)
  • Km 20 through 28, CA9, Guatemala
  • Highway between Mataquescuintla (driving from Jutiapa and Jalapa)
  • In gardens of many hotels.
  • Village of Cahabon, Alta Verapaz

There are Calliandra plants growing in a dozen other ecosystems but we do not always have time to stop.

Calliandra Chisec , Peten
Photography of Calliandra Chisec, Towards to Petén

Calliandra is a spice

Calliandra anomala, red power puff, is a plant with powerful chemicals (though not as bad as palo de pito, Erythrina species). I will go out on a limb and estimate this species has counterparts in Guatemala with similar effects.

Calliandra anomala is listed as a known spice for flavoring cacao.

Calliandra Pension Monja Blanca
Photography of Calliandra, Pension Monja Blanca, Cobán


Calliandra is a medicinal plant

While we were photographing a Calliandra species in Cahabon, Alta Verapz, Guatemala a man from the local village said he put parts of the plant under the pillows of his children when they were not sleeping properly.

Many people in Guatemala do the same with parts of flor de pito, Erythrina species, though Pito is much more common, and has more dangerous chemicals in different parts of the plant.

Calliandra Aldea las Minas, Santa Rosa
Photography of Calliandra, Aldea Las Minas, Santa Rosa


Bibliography of Suggested Reading on Calliandra species

We are preparing a bibliography on each species which we have photographed. This will be on our bibliography web site, www.Maya-art-books.org.


Posted mid-July 2015 after we photographed another grove of Calliandra near Aldea Pachali, about 40 minutes drive from Tecpan Guatemala.

Demo xtra 2

Tikal Related Reports


Consulting cacao & Theobroma species

Tobacco Ingredients of Aztec & Maya

Trees of Mesoamerica

Tropical Nuts

Spices, condiments, food coloring

Underutilized edible plants

Plants and trees used to produce incense

Camera Reviews for Photographing Flowers and Plants

Trees with conical Spines

Flowers native to Guatemala visible now around the world

Ethnobotany site page Donations acknowled Botton DONATE NOW


Fruits (typical misnomer mishmash of Spanish language)

Fruits (vines or cacti)

Flavoring, herbs, and spices

Flowers, sacred

Plants which are sacred

Plants or trees that are used to produce incense

Read article on Achiote, Bixa orellana, annatto, natural plant dye for coloring (and flavoring) food (especially cacao drink) in Guatemala and Mexico.
Read article on Cuajilote or Caiba: Parmentiera aculeata, a forgotten fruit.
Read article on Split leaf philodendron, Monstera deliciosa.
Read article on Gonolobus, an edible vine from Asclepiadaceae Family.
Pachira aquatica, zapoton, zapote bobo, crucial sacred flower for Maya archaeologists and iconographers


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