14 julio, 2024

The 8 most representative Yucatan plants

The yucatan plants They are among the most diverse in all of Mexico, in addition to being also one of the most affected by human activity in recent years. In fact, the Yucatan is home to some of the most deforested areas in all of Latin America.

Several endemic species occur in this region; that is, plants that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. This means that the Mexican government is making a lot of efforts to preserve the plant diversity of the State.

The causes of deforestation can be very varied; for example, the exploitation of land for agriculture and livestock, construction of buildings or excessive tourism.

Scientists have to study native species in order to reintroduce them without causing an imbalance in the natural habitat.

Yucatan endemic plants

1- Balche

Balché is a typical Yucatan plant that has been widely studied over the years by the scientific community. Its importance is based on the ability of this tree to cause altered states of consciousness.

The Mayan Indians used the balché bark to produce drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. They used them to carry out different types of religious rituals. The effects of these drinks were similar to those of certain hallucinogenic drugs.

Today, this tree is studied for its possible healing properties, although drinks made from its bark remain popular in the state of Yucatán.

2- Yellow macules

This tree is one of the most representative of the entire area occupied by the state of Yucatan. It is characterized by reaching heights of up to 15 meters, with a completely straight trunk and a pyramid-shaped crown.

Due to the striking yellow color of its flowers, it is used as an ornamental plant in many cities in the state. Its fruits are capsules about 40 centimeters long, with a slightly twisted shape.

Traditionally its wood was used in different constructions and buildings. However, this tree is currently in danger of extinction.

3- Purple macules

This tree is very similar to the previous one, although it presents some important differences. They tend to be slightly smaller, up to 12 meters tall, and their flower color is deep purple instead of yellow.

The fruits of the purple maculís do not usually measure more than 10 centimeters, and its wood is also traditionally used to build buildings. However, this plant species is not in danger of extinction.

4- Mahogany

Also known as ceiba, this tree is well known for its wood. It is used in joinery work, as a material for furniture, doors and all kinds of utensils.

This tree can reach 20 meters in height, having a straight and narrow trunk, and an open fan-shaped crown. It is currently not in danger of extinction.

5- Mangrove

This tree is one of the most representative of the state of Yucatan. It has three main variants: the red mangrove, the black mangrove and the white mangrove. They reach up to 20 meters in height, and have a straight trunk and very resistant wood.

Traditionally they are used to build basic buildings, such as cabins, although their wood is still highly prized today.

6- Disheveled

Its scientific name is Beaucarnea pliabilis, although it is popularly known as disheveled or elephant’s foot. It is located in southern Mexico, Belize and Guatemala and has both ornamental and culinary use.

7- Mulatto stick

simaruba bursera It is distributed throughout the tropical zones of Mexico and other regions of America (United States, Nicaragua, Brazil or Cuba, among others). According to natural medicine, it has healing properties against fever or cold sores, cough or measles.


Although in a general way it is better known as yellow rose, in Yucatan it is common to call it chum. It is a medium-sized tree that produces a yellow-orange dye used to dye cotton. Its flowers are similar to roses, but they do not belong to the same family.


«Native flora»in: Seduma. Retrieved from seduma.yucatan.gob.mx
«Native flora technical sheets» in: Seduma. Retrieved from seduma.yucatan.gob.mx

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