Last year, on the entry The Land of the Eternal Spring, I talked about the “undocumented alien” in our garden, the Flor de Pascua (poinsettias) which were not planted or maintained, yet it gave us those wonderful red flowers from October through March. Since then, we moved to another house in San Pedro Las Huertas, one of the neighborhoods of La Antigua Guatemala, which is next to a coffee plantation with lots of trees and birds (partners in crime). Well, I am happy to report yet another “undocumented alien” in our new garden by the name of Chicalote (Prickly Poppy or Argemone Mexicana), a sort desert weed (that’s right I said desert, remember La Antigua is located in a tropical country). Two days ago I presented you the chicalote’s flower in the entry Flora and Fauna working together. One thing many visitors to La Antigua Guatemala notice right away is the incredible number of exotic flowers and plants, many of which grow in the wild.
Thanks to the instructions and education I received from our gardener, I learned this plant is medicinal and quick search in Google throw the following”
This plant (ed. Chicalote/Prickly Poppy) was sacred to Tlaloc, the Aztec god of rain and water (ed. Chac Mol for the Maya), and water related diseases such as rheumatism and palsy were treated with this herb to appease him. (—Ancient Aztec Herbal Remedies)
Clearly, there is much more to this apparently rough and simple weed than meets the eye. (—)
Come back tomorrow to see the Chicalote’s seed cocoon and flower in context, along with one of the most edible weeds and herbs in Guatemala.
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