|Cymbopetalum penduliflorum botanical illustration|
Common names include "sacred earflower". In Spanish the plant is called flor de la oreja or orejuela, and in Nahuatl it is called xochinacaztli. In the Guatemalan municipality of Todos Santos Cuchumatán it is called tzchiquin itz in the Mam language. It is called muc' by the Q'eqchi' in the area of Cobán.
The plant grows as a tree or small shrub with distichous, subsessile, oblanceolate leaves. It has solitary flowers borne on long slender peduncles coming from the internodes of the smaller branches. Its sepals are broadly ovate or suborbicular, cuspidate, reflexed at length, The outer petals are similar, but are much larger than the sepals. The inner petals are thick and fleshy with an involute margin that causes them to resemble a human ear. When fresh, the pungent flowers are greenish-yellow with the inner surface of the inner petals tending towards orange, at length turning brownish-purple or maroon, breaking with a bright orange fracture.
The dried flowers of C. penduliflorum and related species C. costaricense were traditionally used to give a spicy flavor to chocolate before the arrival of cinnamon and the other Old World spices. The dried petals are still used to in atoles, pinoles, and coffee.
It is native to mountainous areas of southern Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. It is still cultivated as a spice in the Guatemalan regions around Cobán and Jacaltenango and sold in markets in those areas as well as Antigua Guatemala, Santa Ana, El Salvador, and San Andrés Tuxtla, Mexico.
- U. S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry, ed. (May 1922). Inventory of Seeds and Plants Imported by the Office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction during the Period from April 1 to June 30, 1918 (PDF). 55. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. pp. 5, 35–36. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Uphof, Johannes Cornelis Theodorus (1968) . Dictionary of Economic Plants (second ed.). New York, NY: J. Cramer. p. 167. ISBN 9783904144711. OCLC 48693661.
- Murray, Nancy A. (6 December 1993). Revision of Cymbopetalum and Porcelia (Annonaceae). Systematic botany monographs. 40. Ann Arbor, Mich: American Society of Plant Taxonomists. ISBN 9780912861401. OCLC 29527548.
- Seidemann, Johannes (27 December 2005). "C". World Spice Plants: Economic Usage, Botany, Taxonomy. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 129. ISBN 9783540279082. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
Flavoring of drinking chocolate
- Roskov, Y.; Abucay, L.; Orrell, T.; Nicolson, D.; Kunze, T.; Culham, A.; Bailly, N.; Kirk, P.; Bourgoin, T.; DeWalt, R.E.; Decock, W.; De Wever, A., eds. (2015). "Species details : Cymbopetalum penduliflorum (Sessé & Moç. ex Dunal) Baill". Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2015 Annual Checklist. Leiden, the Netherlands: Naturalis. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Media related to Cymbopetalum penduliflorum at Wikimedia Commons
- Data related to Cymbopetalum penduliflorum at Wikispecies
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