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.

Reports by FLAAR Mesoamerica
on Flora & Fauna of Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo
Peten, Guatemala, Central America

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In addition to field trips and library research, we have an in-house ethnobotanical garden
Heliconia aurantiaca Finca 23 Don Benjamin Cimarron Izabal

There are many species of amaranth native to Guatemala and we hope to have all of them growing in our Mayan ethnobotanical garden by the end of the year.

So I did research on how many heliconia are native to Guatemala. Each source listed slightly different species (though all three sources listed about six common ones). If you add all the sources together there are between 12 and 15 species.

Heliconia nickeriensis Barrio El Centro Javier La Tinta

I then sent out our Q’eqchi’ Mayan ethnobotany team to search for all the species of heliconia in Alta Verapaz between Senahu, Cahabon, and towards Lanquin. They found about eight to ten species, though some were in gardens (so we don’t yet know where they are native).

My goal is to have a minimum of 12 species in our research garden, all in a row, so we can photograph them at high resolution when they flower. We will then make a list of where they can be found in the wild in Guatemala.

Amaranth is a fast-growing grain-like seed used by the Aztec and Maya. Amaranth is to Mesoamerica what quinoa was to the Inca and their neighbors in Peru.

Heliconia Senahu

There are many species of amaranth native to Guatemala and we hope to have all of them growing in our Mayan ethnobotanical garden by the end of the year.

Several non-profit Mayan institutes are raising, processing, and selling Amarantho. We wish to encourage that. I am even nudging my family back in the Missouri Ozark Mountains to plant amaranth on our family farm there, since these seeds are among the most notable superfoods of the world.

First Posted May 2017


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